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Full text of "Struggles and triumphs, or, Forty years' recollections"

- . . 





PHINEAS T. BARNUM. 



STRUGGLES AND TRIUMPHS: 



OB, 



FORTY TEARS RECOLLECTIONS 



OF 



P. T. BARNUM. 



WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. 



AUTHOR S EDITION, 



[BIOGRAPHY COMPLETE TO APRIL, 1872.] 



" a map of busy life, 

Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns." 



BUFFALO, N. Y. 
WARREN, JOHNSON & CO. 

1872. 



G y 




fa gJi/./II f nio . 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by 
P. T. BARNUM, 

. r] ^ I 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 
Entered also at Stationer s Hall, London, England. 



ii T a A 



V) <|j;ra a 

eii hii/s t rtioi)i j f; 



ot 






TO 

>,! i.7/ ,/ -/"--- i q u^hwiiA Iffo-jg .^if-i ut j - hno 

MY WIFE AND FAMILY 



"r DEDICATE 

i N- r: -;I, yr Oil* f Tf-JH^J. Ot rjfJSfl J y/t-H J>jj ; ^lOTr Olft 1o irfgtl 
THIS STORY OF A LIFE WHICH HAS BEEN LARGELY 

DEVOTED TO THEIR 
,,.., , KU. <J tfJW !- i?pj(b 1/iJIOlj 

INTERESTS AND SERVICE. 

s }J na b! t^i cun> :;o:Mft3*Mt oif) fo ^i^Q^ 
;TtjjM ,.,>:> _. ? ..:.;-,-:.. L .KoneW ( Hio7 v.-^X ^fr^wo ) fe -voK u*>i 



2026 



CARD INTRODUCTORY. 



To the Public : Although the large octavo edition of STRUGGLES 
AND TRIUMPHS, upon fine paper, has enjoyed an unprecedented large 
sale at $3.50 and upwards, according to styles of binding ; yet deter 
mined to supply the popular demand for a cheaper edition, and thus in 
a measure render to the great American people, who have lavished 
upon me so many favors, a due recognition of their claims upon my 
gratitude and esteem, I have purchased, of the original publishers, 
the electrotype plates of text and engravings together with the copy 
right of the work ; and, now enabled to control the publication myself, 
I give the same precise text with the original, (together with an addi 
tional chapter bringing the biography down to April 2d, 1872,) at the 
low price of $1.50. 

Copies of the cheap edition can be had on application to the Amer 
ican News Company, New York, Warren, Johnson & Co., Buffalo, 
and elsewhere. 

Your obedient humble servant, 

PHINEAS T. BARNUM. 
No. 438 Fifth Avenue, New York City, April 2d, 1872. 



PREFACE. 



THIS book is my Recollections of Forty Busy Years, 
Few men in civil life have had a career more crowded 
with incident, enterprise, and various intercourse with 
the world than mine. With the alternations of success 
and defeat, extensive travel in this and foreign lands; 
a large acquaintance with the humble and honored ; 
having held the preeminent place among all who have 
sought to furnish healthful entertainment to the Amer 
ican people, and, therefore, having had opportunities 
for garnering an ample storehouse of incident and an 
ecdote, while, at the same time, needing a sagacity, 
energy, foresight and fortitude rarely required or ex 
hibited in financial affairs, my struggles and experi 
ences (it is not altogether vanity in me to think) can 
not be without interest to my fellow countrymen. 

Various leading publishers have solicited me to 
place at their disposal my Recollections of what I 
have been, and seen, and done. These proposals, to 
gether with the partiality of friends and kindred, have 
constrained me, now that I have retired from all active 
participation in business, to put in a permanent form 
what, it seems to me, may be instructive, entertaining 
and profitable. 

Fifteen years since, for the purpose, principally, of 
advancing my interests as proprietor of the American 



VI PREFACE. 

Museum, I gave to the press some personal reminis 
cences and sketches. Having an extensive sale, they 
were, however, very hastily, and, therefore, imper 
fectly, prepared. These are not only out of print, 
but the plates have been destroyed. Though includ 
ing, necessarily, in common with them, some of the 
facts of my early life, in order to make this auto 
biography a complete and continuous narrative, yet, 
as the latter part of my life has been the more event 
ful, and my recollections so various and abundant, 
this book is new and independent of the former. It 
is the matured and leisurely review of almost half a 
century of work and struggle, and final success, in 
spite of fraud and fire the story of which is blended 
with amusing anecdotes, funny passages, felicitous 
jokes, captivating narratives, flaovel experiences, and 
remarkable interviews the sunny and sombre so in 
termingled as not only to entertain, but convey useful 
lessons to all classes of readers. 

These Recollections are dedicated to those who are 
nearest and dearest to me, with the feeling that they 
are a record which I am willing to leave in their 
hands, as a legacy which they will value. 

And above and beyond this personal satisfaction, I 
have thought that the review of a life, with the wide 
contrasts of humble origin and high and honorable 
success ; of most formidable obstacles overcome by 
courage and constancy; of affluence that had been 
patiently won, suddenly wrenched away, and triumph 
antly regained would be a help and incentive to the 
young man, struggling, it may be, with adverse for 
tune, or, at the start, looking" into the future with 
doubt or despair. 

All autobiographies are necessarily egotistical. If 



PREFACE. Vll 

my pages are as plentifully sprinkled with "IV as was 
the chief ornament of Hood s peacock, u who thought 
he had the eyes of Europe on his tail," I can only say, 
that the "Ts" are essential to the story I have told. 
It has been my purpose to narrate, not the life of 
another, but that career in which I was the princi 
pal actor. 

There is an almost universal, and not unworthy 
curiosity to learn the methods and measures, the ups 
and downs, the strifes and victories, the mental and 
moral personnel of those who have taken an active 
and prominent part in human affairs. But an auto 
biography has attractions and merits superior to those 
of a " Life " written by another, who, however inti 
mate with its subject, cannot know all that helps to 
give interest and accuracy to the narrative, or com 
pleteness to the character. The story from the actor s 
own lips has always a charm it can never have when 
told by another. 

That my narrative is interspersed with amusing inci 
dents, and even the recital of some very practical jokes, 
is simply because my natural disposition impels me to 
look upon the brighter side of life, and I hope my 
humorous experiences will entertain my readers as 
much as they were enjoyed by myself. And if this 
record of trials and triumphs, struggles and successes, 
shall stimulate any to the exercise of that energy, in 
dustry, and courage in their callings, which will surely 
lead to happiness and prosperity, one main object I 
have in yielding to the solicitations of my friends 
and my publishers will have been accomplished. 

P. T. BARNUM. 



WALDEMERE, BRIDGEPORT, 
Connecticut, July 5, 1869 



.1 




PAQB. 

1 PORTRAIT OP P. T. BARNUM, Frontispiece 

2. MY PROPERTY AND MY TENANT, 32 

8. MY DELIVERY FROM IMPRISONMENT, 65 

4. BARNUM ON A RAIL, . I9.T! f ; : 84 

6. THE COWARD AND THE " BRAVE," 100 

6. VICTORY OVER VESTRYMEN, 138 

7. SQUALLS AND BREEZES, 146 

8. BATTLE OP THE GIANTS, . . 162 

9. THE GREAT DUKE AND THE LITTLE GENERAL, 184 

10. ROYAL HONORS TO THE GENERAL, . 192 

11. MANURE CART EXPRESS, ? ^ ^ L . 217 

12. PUT ME IN IRONS 243 

13. IRANISTAN, /3V. } if. -V > .- -V < V- 263 

14. WELCOME TO JENNY LIND, ... 288 

15. J. G. BENNETT AND HIS MONKEY, 327 

16. ELEPHANTINE AGRICULTURE, 358 

17. MOUNTAIN GROVE CEMETERY, 369 

18. THE " CUSTOMS OF THE COUNTRY, 432 

19. " THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT," 610 

20. GRIZZLY ADAMS AND HIS FAMILY, 580 

21. THE PRINCE IN THE MUSEUM, 643 

22. EAST BRIDGEPORT, r^V* i . ji . , l J . ", v 649 

23. CAPTURING WHITE WHALES, 562 

24. TROUBLE IN A TURKISH HAREM, 680 

25. MARRIAGE IN MINIATURE, . . -/*; f Q ...*.. 603 

26. ALARM AT LINDENCROFT, . .616 

27. THE GREAT UNKNOWN, . . [HU1 680 

28. AFTER THE FIRE, 702 

29. BARNUM FIVE SECONDS AHEAD 705 

30. A GROTESQUE FIRE COMPANY, 720 

31. HALF-SHAVED, 726 

32. SEA SIDE PARK, . . . yt? -.vr.IV. j: . ; : . .758 
33 WALDEMERE, . . \ .. *" >Tv . . 768 






CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. EARLY LIFE. 

MY BIRTH FIRST PROPERTY FARMER BOY LIFE GOING TO SCHOOL EARLY 
ACQUISITIVENESS A HOLIDAY PEDDLER FIRST VISIT TO NEW YORK- 
LEARNING TO "SWAP" MISERIES FROM MOLASSES CANDY " IVY ISLAND" 

ENTERING UPON MY ESTATE CLERKSHIP IN A COUNTRY STORE TRAD 
ING MORALS THE BETHEL MEETING-HOUSE STOVE QUESTION SUNDAY 

SCHOOL AND BIBLE CLASS MY COMPOSITION THE ONE THING NEEDFUL, 25 

CHAP. II. INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

DEATH OF MY GRANDMOTHER MY FATHER HIS CHARACTER HIS DEATH- 
BEGINNING THE WORLD BAREFOOTED GOING TO GRASSY PLAINS THE TIN 

WARE AND GREEN BOTTLE LOTTERY "CHARITY" HALLETT OUR FIRST 

MEETING EVENING RIDE TO BETHEL A NOVEL FUR TRADE OLD " RUSHIA" 
AND YOUNG " RUSHIA" THE BUYER SOLD COUNTRY STORE EXPERIENCES 
OLD " UNCLE BIBBINS " A TERRIBLE DUEL BETWEEN BENTON AND BIB- 
BINSFALL OF BENTON FLIGHT OF BIBBINS, 38 

CHAP. III. IN BUSINESS FOR MYSELF. 

MY CLERKSHIP IN BROOKLYN UNEASINESS AND DISSATISFACTION THE 

SMALL POX GOING HOME TO RECRUIT "CHARITY" HALLETT AGAIN 

BACK TO BROOKLYN OPENING A PORTER-HOUSESELLING OUT MY CLERK 
SHIP IN NEW YORK MY HABITS OBSERVANCE OF SUNDAY IN BETHEL 
ONCE MORE BEGINNING BUSINESS ON MY OWN ACCOUNT OPENING DAY 
LARGE SALES AND GREAT PROFITS THE LOTTERY BUSINESS VIEWS 
THEREON ABOUT A POCKET-BOOKWITS AND WAGS SWEARING OUT A 
FINE FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE BAR SECURING "ARABIAN "A MODEL 
LOVE-LETTER, 48 

CHAP. IV. STRUGGLES FOR A LIVELIHOOD. 

PLEASURE VISIT TO PHILADELPHIA LIVING IN GRAND STYLE THE BOTTOM 
OF THE PILE BORROWING MONEY MY MARRIAGE RETURN TO BETHEL 

EARLY MARRIAGES MORE PRACTICAL JOKING SECOND APPEARANCE AS 

COUNSEL GOING TO HOUSEKEEPING SELLING BOOKS AT AUCTION THE 

"YELLOW STORE" A NEW FIELD " THE HERALD OF FREEDOM" MY 

EDITORIAL CAREER LIBEL SUITS FINED AND IMPRISONED LIFE IN THE 
DANBURY JAIL CELEBRATION OF MY LIBERATION POOR BUSINESS AND 

BAD DEBTS REMOVAL TO NEW YORK SEEKING MY FORTUNE " WANTS " 

IN THE "SUN" WM. NIBLO KEEPING A BOARDING-HOUSE A WHOLE 
SHIRT ON MY BACK, 59 

1* 



14 CONTENTS. 

CHAP. V. MY START AS A SHOWMAN. 

THE AMUSEMENT BUSINESS DIFFERENT GRADES CATERING FOR THE PUBLIC 
MY CLAIMS, AIMS AND EFFORTS JOICE HETH APPARENT GENUINENESS 
OF HER VOUCHERS BEGINNING LIFE AS A SHOWMAN SUCCESS OF MY 

FIRST EXHIBITION SECOND STEP IN THE SHOW LINE SIGNOR VIVALLA 

MY FIRST APPEARANCE ON ANY STAGE AT WASHINGTON ANNE ROYALL 

STIMULATING THE PUBLIC CONTESTS BETWEEN VIVALLA AND ROBERTS 

EXCITEMENT AT FEVER HEAT CONNECTING MYSELF WITH A CIRCUS BREAD 

AND BUTTER DINNER FOR THE WHOLE COMPANY NARROW ESCAPE FROM 

SUFFOCATION LECTURING AN ABUSIVE CLERGYMAN AARON TURNER A 

TERRIBLE PRACTICAL JOKE 1 AM REPRESENTED TO BE- A MURDERER 

RAILS AND LYNCH LAW NOVEL MEANS FOR SECURING NOTORIETY, . 71 

CHAP. VI. MY FIRST TRAVELING COMPANY. 

THREE MEALS AND LODGING IN ONE HOUR TURNING THE TABLES ON TURNER 
A SON AS OLD AS HIS FATHER LEAVING THE CIRCUS WITH TWELVE 
HUNDRED DOLLARS MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY PREACHING TO THE 
PEOPLE APPEARING AS A NEGRO MINSTREL THREATENED WITH ASSAS 
SINATION ESCAPES FROM DANGER TEMPERANCE REPORT OF MY ARREST 

FOR MURDER RE-ENFORCING MY COMPANY " BARNUM s GRAND SCIENTIFIC 

AND MUSICAL THEATRE" OUTWITTING A SHERIFF "LADY HAYES S "" 

MANSION AND PLANTATION A BRILLIANT AUDIENCE BASS DRUM SOLO 

CROSSING THE INDIAN NATION JOE PENTLAND AS A SAVAGE TERROR AND 

FLIGHT OF VIVALLA A NONPLUSSED LEGERDEMAIN PERFORMER A MALE 

EGG-LAYER DISBANDING MY COMPANY A NEW PARTNERSHIP PUBLIC 

LECTURING DIFFICULTY WITH A DROVER THE STEAMBOAT " CERES " 

SUDDEN MARRIAGE ON BOARD MOBBED IN LOUISIANA ARRIVAL AT NEW 



ORLEANS, 



CHAP. VII. AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER. 



66 



DISGUST AT THE TRAVELLING BUSINESS ADVERTISING FOR AN ASSOCIATE 

RUSH OF THE MILLION-MAKERS COUNTERFEITERS, CHEATS AND QUACKS 

A NEW BUSINESS SWINDLED BY MY PARTNER DIAMOND THE DANCER 

A NEW COMPANY DESERTIONS SUCCESSES AT NEW ORLEANS TYRONE 

POWER AND FANNY ELLSLER IN JAIL AGAIN BACK TO NEW YORK ACT 
ING AS A BOOK AGENT LEASING VAUXIIALL FROM HAND TO MOUTH 

DETERMINATION TO MAKE MONEY FORTUNE OPENING HER DOOR THE 

AMERICAN MUSEUM FOR SALE NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE-r-HOPES 
AND DISAPPOINTMENTS THE TRAIN LAID SMASHING A RIVAL COMPANY, 104 

CHAP. VIII. THE AMERICAN MUSEUM. 

A. TRAP SET FOR ME I CATCH THE TRAPPERS I BECOME PROPRIETOR Of 

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT HARD WORK 

AND COLD DINNERS ADDITIONS TO THE MUSEUM EXTRAORDINARY ADVER 
TISING BARNUM S BRICK-MANEXCITING PUBLIC CURIOSITY INCIDENTS 

AND ANECDOTES A DRUNKEN ACTOR IMITATIONS OF THE ELDER BOOTH 
PLEASING MY PATRONS SECURING TRANSIENT NOVELTIES LIVING CURI 
OSITIES MAKING PEOPLE TALK A WILDERNESS OF WONDERS NIAGARA 

FALLS WITH REAL WATER THE CLUB THAT KILLED COOK SELLING LOUIS 

GAYLORD CLARK THE FISH WITH LEGS THE FEJEE MERMAID HOW IT 

CAME INTO MY POSSESSION THE TRUE STORY OF THAT CURIOSITY JAPAN 
ESE MANUFACTURE OF FABULOUS ANIMALS THE USE I MADE OF THE MER 
MAID WHOLESALE ADVERTISING AGAIN THE BALCONY BAND DRUMMOND 
LIGHTS, 116 



CONTENTS. 15 

CIIAF. IX. THE ROAD TO RICHES. 

THE MOST POPULAR PLACE OF AMUSEMENT IN THE WORLD THE MORAL 
DRAMA REFORMING THE ABUSES OF THE STAGE FAMOUS ACTORS AND 

ACTRESSES AT THE MUSEUM ADDING TO THE SALOONS AFTERNOON AND 

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES FOURTH OF JULY FLAGS THE MUSEUM CONNECT 
ED WITH ST. PAUL S VICTORY OVER THE VESTRYMEN THE EGRESS ST. 
PATRICK S DAY IN THE MORNING A WONDERFUL ANIMAL, THE "AIGRESS" 

INPOURING OF MONEY ZOOLOGICAL ERUPTION THE CITY ASTOUNDED 

BABY SHOWS, AND THEIR OBJECT FLOWER, BIRD, DOG AND POULTRY 

SHOWS GRAND FREE BUFFALO HUNT IN HOBOKEN N. P. WILLIS -THE 

WOOLLY HORSE WHERE HE CAME FROM COLONEL BENTON BEATEN 

PURPOSE OF THE EXHIBITION AMERICAN INDIANS P. T. BARNUM EXHIB 
ITED A CURIOUS SPINSTER THE TOUCHING STORY OF CHARLOTTE TEM 
PLE SERVICES IN THE LECTURE ROOM A FINANCIAL VIEW OF THE 

MUSEUM AN "AWFUL RICH MAN," . . . . i/. . lA;i 133 

CHAP. X. ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

PEALE S MUSEUM MYSTERIOUS MESMERISM YANKEE HILL HENRY BENNETT 

THE RIVAL MUSEUMS THE ORPHEAN AND ORPHAN FAMILIES THE FUDGEE 

MERMAID BUYING OUT MY RIVAL RUNNING OPPOSITION TO MYSELF 

ABOLISHING THEATRICAL NUISANCES NO CHECKS AND .NO BAR THE 

MUSEUM MY MANIA MY FIRST INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES S. STRATTON 

GENERAL TOM THUMB IN NEW YORK RE-ENGAGEMENT AN APT PUPIL 

FREE FROM DEBTTHE PROFITS OF TWO YEARS IN SEARCH OF A NEW 

FIELD STARTING FOR LIVERPOOL THE GOOD SHIP " YORKSHIRE " MY 

PARTY ESCORT TO SANDY HOOK THE VOYAGE A TOBACCO TRICK A 
BRAGGING JOHN BULL OUTWITTED ARRIVAL AT LIVERPOOL A GENTLE 
MAN BEGGAR MADAME CELESTE CHEAP DWARFS TWO-PENNY SHOWS 
EXHIBITION OF GENERAL TOM THUMB IN LIVERPOOL FIRST-CLASS EN 
GAGEMENT FOR LONDON, 156 

CHAP. XL GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 

ARRIVAL IN LONDON THE GENERAL S DEBUT IN THE PRINCESS S THEATRE 
ENORMOUS SUCCESS MY MANSION AT THE WEST END DAILY LEVEES 
FOR THE NOBILITY AND GENTRY HON. EDWARD EVERETT HIS INTER 
EST IN THE GENERAL VISIT TO THE BARONESS ROTHSCHILD OPENING 

IN EGYPTIAN HALL, PICCADILLY MR. CHARLES MURRAY, MASTER OF THE 

QUEEN S HOUSEHOLD AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE BY COMMAND OF HER 
MAJESTY A ROYAL RECEPTION THE FAVORABLE IMPRESSION MADE BY 
THE GENERAL AMUSING INCIDENTS OF THE VISIT BACKING OUT 
FIGHT WITH A POODLE COURT JOURNAL NOTICE SECOND VISIT TO THE 
QUEEN THE PRINCE OF WALES AND PRINCESS ROYAL THE QUEEN OF 

THE BELGIANS THIRD VISIT TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE KING LEOPOLD, 
OF BELGIUM ASSURED SUCCESS THE BRITISH PUBLIC EXCITED EGYP 
TIAN HALL CROWDED QUEEN DOWAGER ADELAIDE THE GENERAL S 

WATCH NAPOLEON AND THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON DISTINGUISHED 
FRIENDS, 173 

CHAP. XII. IN FRANCE. 

GOING OVER TO ARRANGE PRELIMINARIES PREVIOUS VISIT TO PARIS ROB 
ERT IIOUDIN WONDERFUL MECHANICAL TOYS THE AUTOMATON LETTER- 
WRITER DION BOUCICAULT TAX ON NATURAL CURIOSITIES HOW I COM 
PROMISED THE GENERAL AND PARTY IN PARIS FIRST VISIT TO KING 

LOUIS PHILIPPE A SPLENDID PRESENT DIPLOMACY I ASK A FAVOR AND 
GET JT LONG CHAMPS THE GENERAL S EQUIPAGE THE FINEST ADVER 
TISEMENT EVER KNOWN ALL PARIS IN A FUROR OPENING OF THE LEVKES 

"TOM POUCE " EVERYWHERE THE GENERAL AS AN ACTOR "PETIT 
POUCKT" SECOND AND THIRD VISITS AT THE TUILERIES INVITATION TO 
ST. CLOUD THE GENERAL PERSONATING NAPOLEON BONAPARTE ST. DENIS 
THE INVALIDES REGNIER ANt CDOTE OF FRANKLIN LEAVING PARIS 

TOUR THROUGH FRANCE DEPARTURE FOR BRUSSELS, 186 



1C CONTENTS. 

CHAP. XIII. IN BELGIUM. 
CROSSING THE FRONTIER PROFESSOR PINTE QUALIFICATIONS OF A GOOD 

SHOWMAN " SOFT SUP "GENEROUS DISTRIBUTION OF MEDALS PRINCE 

CHARLES STRATTON AT BRUSSELS PRESENTATION TO KING LEOPOLD AND 
HIS QUEEN THE GENERAL S JEWELS STOLEN THE THIEF CAUGHT RE 
COVERY OF THE PROPERTY THE FIELD OF WATERLOO MIRACULOUSLY 

MULTIPLIED RELICS CAPTAIN TIPPITIWITCHET OF THE CONNECTICUT 

FUSI LEERS AN ACCIDENT GETTING BACK TO BRUSSELS IN A CART 

STRATTON SWINDLED LOSING AN EXHIBITION TWO HOURS IN THE RAIN 

ON THE ROAD THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY A STRICT CONSTRUCTION- 

IST STRATTON S HEAD SHAVED" BRUMMAGEM " RELICS HOW THEY ARE 

PLANTED AT WATERLOO WHAT LYONS SAUSAGES ARE MADE OF FROM 

BRUSSELS TO LONDON, 208 

CHAP. XIV. IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

LEVEES IN EGYPTIAN HALL UNDIMINISHED SUCCESS OTHER ENGAGEMENTS 
"UP IN A BALLOON "PROVINCIAL TOUR TRAVELLING BY POST GOING 
TO AMERICA A. T. STEWART SAMUEL ROGERS AN EXTRA TRAIN AN 
ASTONISHED RAILWAY SUPERINTENDENT LEFT BEHIND AND LOCKED UP 
SUNDAYS IN LONDON -BUSINESS AND PLEASURE ALBERT SMITH A DAY 
WITH HIM AT WARWICK STRATFORD ON AVON A POETICAL BARBER- 
WARWICK CASTLE OLD GUY*S TRAPS OFFER TO BUY THE LOT THREAT 

TO BURST THE SHOW ALBERT SMITH AS A SHOWMAN LEARNING THE 
BUSINESS FROM BARNUM THE WARWICK RACE S RIVAL DWARFS MANU 
FACTURED GIANTESSES THE HAPPY FAMILY THE ROAD FROM WARWICK 
TO COVENTRY PEEPING TOM THE YANKEE GO-AHEAD PRINCIPLE AL 
BERT SMITH S ACCOUNT OF A DAY WITH BARNUM, 223 

CHAP. XV. RETURN TO AMERICA. 

THE WIZARD OF THE NORTH A JUGGLER BEATEN AT HIS OWN TRICKS 
SECOND VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES REVEREND DOCTOR ROBERT BAIRD 
CAPTAIN JUDKINS THREATENS TO PUT ME IN IRONS VIEWS WITH RE 
GARD TO SECTS A WICKED WOMAN THE SIMPSONS IN EUROPE REMIN 
ISCENCES OF TRAVEL SAUCE AND " 8ASS " TEA TOO SWEET A UNIVER 
SAL LANGUAGE ROAST DUCK SNOW IN AUGUST TALES OF TRAVELLERS 

SIMPSON NOT TO BE TAKEN IN HOLLANDERS IN BRUSSELS WHERE ALL 

THE DUTCHMEN COME FROM THREE YEARS IN EUROPE WARM PERSONAL 

FRIENDS DOCTOR C. 8. BREWSTER HENRY 8UMNER GEORGE 8. AND LO 
RENZO DRAPER GEORGE P. PUTNAM OUR LAST PERFORMANCE IN DUBLIN 

DANIEL O CONNELL END OF OUR TOUR DEPARTURE FOR AMERICA 
ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK 239 

CHAP. XVI. AT HOME. 

RENEWING THE LEASE OF THE MUSEUM BUILDING TOM THUMB IN AMERICA 
TOUR THROUGH THE COUNTRY JOURNEY TO CUBA BARNUM A CURIOSITY 
RAISING TURKEYS CEASING TO BE A TRAVELLING SHOWMAN RETURN 
TO BRIDGEPORT ADVANTAGES AND CAPABILITIES OF THAT CITY SEARCH 
FOR A HOME THE FINDING BUILDING AND COMPLETION OF IRANISTAN 
GRAND HOUSE-WARMING BUYING THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OPENING THE 

PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM CATERING FOR QUAKERS THE TEMPERANCE 

PLEDGE AT THE THEATRE PURCHASING PEALE S PHILADELPHIA COLLEC 
TION MY AGRICULTURAL AND ARBORCULTURAL DOINGS "GERSY BLEW " 
CHICKENS HOW I SOLD MY POTATOES HOW I BOUGHT OTHKR PEOPLES 
POTATOES CUTTING OFF GRAFTS MY DEER PARK MY GAME-KEEPLR 
FKANK LESLIE PLEASURES OF IIOME, .... 255 



CONTENTS. 17 

CHAP. XVII. TFIE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 



GRAND SCHEME CONGRESS OF ALL NATIONS A BOLD AND BRILLIANT ENTER 
PRISE THE JENNY LIND ENGAGEMENT MY AGENT IN EUROPE HIS IN 
STRUCTIONS CORRESPONDENCE WITH MISS LIND BENEDICT AND BELLETTI 

JOSHUA BATES CHEVALIER WYCKOFF THE CONTRACT SIGNED MY RE 
CEPTION OF THE NEWS THE ENTIRE SUM OF MONEY FOR THE ENGAGE 
MENT SENT TO LONDON MY FIRST LIND LETTER TO THE PUBLIC A POOR 

PORTRAIT MUSICAL NOTES IN WALL STREET A FRIEND IN NEED, 270 



CHAP. XVIII. THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 



FINAL CONCERTS IN LIVERPOOL DEPARTURE FOR AMERICA ARRIVAL OFF 
STATEN ISLAND MY FIRST INTERVIEW WITH JENNY LIND THE TREMEN 
DOUS THRONG AT THE WHARF TRIUMPHAL ARCH "WELCOME TO AMER 
ICA" EXCITEMENT IN THE CITY SERENADE AT THE IRVING HOUSE THE 

PRIZE ODE BAYARD TAYLOR THE PRIZEMAN " BARNUM S PARNASSUS " 

" BARNUMOPSIS " FIRST CONCERT IN CASTLE GARDEN A NEW AGREEMENT 

RECEPTION OF JENNY LIND UNBOUNDED ENTHUSIASM BARNUM CALLED 

OUT JULIUS BENEDICT THE SUCCESS OF THE ENTERPRISE ESTABLISHED 

TWO GRAND CHARITY CONCERTS IN NEW YORK DATE OF THE FIRST 
REGULAR CONCERT, .... 286 



CHAP. XIX. SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 



HEAD-WORK AND HAND-WORK MANAGING PUBLIC OPINION CREATING A 
FUROR THE NEW YORK HERALD JENNY LIND s EVIL ADVISERS JOHN 

JAY MISS LIND S CHARITIES A POOR GIRL IN BOSTON THE NIGHTINGALE 

AT IRANISTAN RUMOR OF HER MARRIAGE TO P. T. BARNUM THE STORY 

BASED ON OUR " ENGAGEMENT "WHAT IRANISTAN DID FOR ME AVOIDING 
CROWDS IN PHILADELPHIA AND BALTIMORE A SUBSTITUTE FOR MISS 

LIND OUR ORCHESTRA PRESIDENT FILLMORE, CLAY, FOOTE, BENTON, 

SCOTT, CASS, AND WEBSTER VISIT TO MT. VERNON CHRISTMAS PRESENTS 

NEW YEAR S EVE WE GO TO HAVANA PLAYING BALL FREDERIKA. 

BREMER A HAPPY MONTH IN CUBA, .... 301 



CHAP. XX. INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. 



PROTEST AGAINST PRICES IN HAVANA THE CUBANS SUCCUMB JENNY LIND 

TAKES THE CITY BY STORM A MAGNIFICENT TRIUMPH COUNT PENALVER 

A SPLENDID OFFER MR. BRINCKERHOFF BENEFIT FOR THE HOSPITALS 

REFUSING TO RECEIVE THANKS VIVALLA AND HIS DOG HENRY BEN 
NETT HIS PARTIAL INSANITY OUR VOYAGE TO NEW ORLEANS THE 

EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK HERALD ON BOARD I SAVE THE LIFE OF 

JAMES GORDON BENNETT ARRIVAL AT THE CRESCENT CITY CHEATING 

THE CROWD A DUPLICATE MISS LIND A BOY IN RAPTURES A MAMMOTH 

HOG UP THE MISSISSIPPI AMUSEMENTS ON BOARD IN LEAGUE WITH 

THE EVIL ONE AN AMAZED MULATTO, 319 



18 CONTENTS. 

CHAP. XXL JEN NY LIND. 

ARRIVAL AT ST. LOUIS -SURPRISING PROPOSITION OF MISS LIND*S SECRETARY 
HOW THE MANAGER MANAGED READINESS TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT 

CONSULTATION WITH " UNCLE SOL." BARNUM NOT TO BE HIRED A "JOKE" 

TEMPERANCE LECTURE IN THE THEATRE SOL. SMITH A COMEDIAN, 

AUTHOR, AND LAWYER UNIQUE DEDICATION JENNY LINDAS CHARACTER 

AND CHARITIES SHARP WORDS FROM JIIE WEST SELFISH ADVISERS 

MISS LIND S GENEROUS IMPULSES HER SIMPLE AND CHILDLIKE CHARACTER 

CONFESSIONS OF A MANAGER PRIVATE REPUTATION AND PUBLIC RENOWN 

CHARACTER AS A STOCK IN TRADE LE GRAND SMITH MR. DOLBY THE 

ANGELIC SIDE KEPT OUTSIDE MY OWN SHARE IN THE PUBLIC BENEFITS 

JUSTICE TO MISS LIND AND MYSELF, 334 

CHAP. XXII. CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 

PENITENT TICKET PURCHASERS VISIT TO THE "HERMITAGE* "APRIL-FOOL" 
FUN THE MAMMOTH CAVE SIGNOR SALVI GEORGE D. PRENTICE PER 
FORMANCE IN A PORK HOUSE RUSE AT CINCINNATI ANNOYANCES AT 

PITTSBURGH LE GRAND SMITH S GRAND JOKE RETURN TO NEW YORK 
THE FINAL CONCERTS IN CASTLE GARDEN AND METROPOLITAN HALL THE 
ADVISERS APPEAR THE NINETY-THIRD CONCERT MY OFFER TO CLOSK 

THE ENGAGEMENT MISS LIND S LETTER ACCEPTING MY PROPOSITION 

STORY ABOUT AN " IMPROPER PLACE " JENNY S CONCERTS ON HER OWN 

ACCOUNT HER MARRIAGE TO MR. OTTO GOLDSCHMIDT CORDIAL RELATIONS 
BETWEEN MRS. LIND GOLDSCHMIDT AND MYSELF AT HOME AGAIN STATE 
MENT OF THE TOTAL RECEIPTS OF THE CONCERTS, o44 

CHAP. XXIIL OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

ANOTHER VENTURE " BARNUM*S GREAT ASIATIC CARAVAN, MUSEUM, AND 
MENAGERIE" HUNTING ELEPHANTS GENERAL TOM THUMB ELEPHANT 
PLOWING IN CONNECTICUT CURIOUS QUESTIONS FROM ALL QUARTERS 
THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN MY NOVEL FARMING HOW MUCH AN ELEPHANT 
CAN REALLY " DRAW " SIDE-SHOWS AND VARIOUS ENTERPRISES OBSE 
QUIES OF NAPOLEON THE CRYSTAL PALACE CAMPANALOGIANS AMERICAN 

INDIANS IN LONDON AUTOMATON SPEAKER THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON 

ATTEMPT TO B"Y PHAKESPEARE S HOUSE DISSOLVING VIEWS THE CHI 
NESE COLLECTION WONDERFUL SCOTCH BOYS SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF 

DOUBLE SIGHT THE BATEMAN CHILDREN CATHERINE HAYES IRANISTAN 

ON FIRE MY ELDEST DAUGHTER S MARRIAGE BENEFITS FOR THE BRIDGE 
PORT LIBRARY AND THE MOUNTAIN GROVE CEMETERY, . . . . . 358 

CHAP. XXIV. WORK AND PLAY. 

ALFRED BUNN, OF DRURY LANE THEATRE AMUSING INTERVIEW MR. LEVY, 
OF THE LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH VACATIONS AT HOME MY PRESIDENCY 
OF THE FAIRFIELD COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY EXHIBITING A PICK 
POCKETPHILOSOPHY OF HUMBUG A CHOP-FALLEN TICKET-SELLER A 

PROMPT PAYMASTER BARNUM IN BOSTON A DELUDED HACK-DRIVEK 

PHILLIPS S FIRE ANNIHILATOR HONORABLE ELISIfA WHITTLESEY TRIAL 

OF THE ANNIHILATOR IN NEW YORK PEQUONXOCK BANK OF BRIDGEPORT 

THE ILLUSTRATED NEWS THE WORLD S FAIR IN NEW YORK MY PRESI 
DENCY OF THE ASSOCIATION ATTEMPT TO EXCITE PUBLIC INTEREST-r- 

MONSTER JULIEN CONCERTS RESIGNATION OF THE CRYSTAL PALACE PRESI 
DENCY FAILURE OF THE CONCERN, . , ,. . ,.,>. 371 



CONTENTS. 19 

CHAP. XXV: THE JEROME CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 

T?& EAST BRIDGEPORT ENTERPRISE W. H. NOBLE PLANS FOR A NEW CITY 

*^DR. TIMOTHY DWIGHT S TESTIMONY INVESTING A FORTUNE SELLING 

CITY LOTS MONEY-MAKING A SECONDARY CONSIDERATION CLOCK COM 
PANY IN LITCHFIELD THE "TERRY AND BARNUM MANUFACTURING COM 
PANY" -THE JEROME CLOCK COMPANY BAITING FOR BITES FALSE REP 
RESENTATIONS HOW I WAS DELUDED WHAT t AGREED TO DO THE COUN 
TER AGREE31ENT NOTES WITH BLANK DATES THE LIMIT OF MY RESPON 
SIBILITY HOW IT WAS EXCEEDED STARTLING DISCOVERIES A RUINED 

MAN PAYING MY OWN HONEST DEBTS BARNUM DUPED MY FAILURE 

THE BARNUM AND JEROME CLOCK BUBBLE MORALISTS MAKING USE OF MY 

MISFORTUNES WHAT PREACHERS, PAPERS, AND PEOPLE SAID ABOUT ME 

DOWN IN THE DEPTHS, .. , . . . . . . . 384 

CHAP. XXVI. CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 

FRIENDS TO THE RESCUE MONEY OFFERS REFUSED BENEFITS DECLINED 

MAGNIFICENT OFFER OF PROMINENT NEW YORK CITIZENS WILLIAM E. 
BURTON LAURA KEENE WILLIAM NIBLO GENERAL TOM THUMB EDITO 
RIAL SYMPATHY "A WORD FOR BARNUM " IN BOSTON LETTER FROM 
" MRS. PARTINGTON " CITIZENS MEETING IN BRIDGEPORT RESOLUTIONS 

OF RESPECT AND CONDOLENCE MY LETTER ON THE SITUATION TENDER 

OF FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS MAGNITUDE OF THE DECEPTION PRACTICED 

UPON ME PROPOSITION OF COMPROMISE WITH MY CREDITORS A TRAP 
LAID FOR ME IN PHILADELPHIA THE SILVER LINING TO THE CLOUD 

THE BLOW A BENEFIT TO MY FAMILY THE REV. DR. E. II. CHAPIN MY 

DAUGHTER HELEN A LETTER WORTH TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS OUR NEW 
I OMK IN NEW YORK, 395 

CHAP. XXVII. REST, BUT NOT RUST. 

SALE OF THE MUSEUM COLLECTION SUPPLEMENTARY PROCEEDINGS OF MY 
CREDITORS EXAMINATIONS IN COURT -BARNUM AS A BAR TENDER PER 
SECUTION THE SUMMER SEASON ON LONG ISLAND THE MUSKUM MAN ON 

SHOW CHARLES HOWELL A GREAT NATURAL CURIOSITY VALUE OF A 
HONK PROPOSING TO BUY IT A BLACK WHALE PAYS MY SUMMER S 
BOARD A TURN IN THE TIDE THE WHEELER AND WILSON SEWING MA 
CHINE COMPANY THEIR REMOVAL TO EAST BRIDGEPORT THE TERRY 
AND BARNUM CLOCK FACTORY OCCUPIED NEW CITY PROPERTY LOOKING 
UP A LOAN OF 5,000 THE CALSK OF MY RUIN PROMISES TO BE MY RE- 

DKMPTION SETTING SAIL FOR ENGLAND GENERAL TOM THUMB LITTLE 

CORDELIA HOWARD, . j^j^.v! * >T; 406 

CHAP. XXVIIL ABROAD AGAIN. 

OLD FRIENDS IN OLD ENGLAND ALBERT SMITH AS A SHOWMAN HIS ASCENT 

OF MONT BLANC POPULARITY OF THE ENTERTAINMENT THEGARKICK 
CLUB "PHINEAS CUTECRAFT " THE ELEVEN THOUSAND VIRGINS OF CO 
LOGNE UTILIZING INCIDENTS SUBTERRANEAN TERRORS A PANIC EGYP 
TIAN DARKNESS IN EGYPTIAN HALL WILLIAM M. THACKERAY" HIS TWO 
VISITS TO AMERICA FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH THE NOVELIST I LOSE 
HIS SYMPATHY HIS WARM REGARD FOR HIS AMERICAN FRIENDS OTTO 
GOLDSCHMIDT AND JENNY LIND GOLDSCIIMIDT TENDER OF THEIR AID 

THE FORGED LIND LETTER BENEDICT AND BELLETTI GEORGE AUGUSTUS 

SALA CHARLES KEAN EDMUND YATES HORACE MAY1IKW GEORGE PEA- 

V.ODY MR. BUCKSTONE MY EXHIBITIONS IN ENGLAND S. M. PETTINGILL 

MR. LU3JLEY, ; ." . j/ * ; . ; (/ ; r ***; \ H -~{ */ . . . . . . . . 419 



20 CONTENTS. 

CHAP. XXIX. IN GERMANY. 



FROM LONDON TO BADEN-BADEN TROUBLE IN PARIS STRASBOURG 8CENW 
IN A GERMAN CUSTOM-HOUSE A TERRIBLE BILL SIX CENTS WORTH OF 

AGONY GAMBLING AT BADEN-BADEN SUICIDES GOLDEN PRICES FOR 

THE GENERAL A CALL FROM THE KING OF HOLLAND THE GERMAN SPAS 

HAMBURG, EMS AND WETSBADEN THE BLACK FOREST ORCHESTRION 

MAKER AN OFFERED SACRIFICE THE SEAT OF THE ROTHSCHILDS DIF 
FICULTIES IN FRANKFORT A POMPOUS COMMISSIONER OF POLICE RED- 
TAPE AN ALARM HENRY J. RAYMOND CALL ON THE COMMISSIONER 

CONFIDENTIAL DISCLOSURES HALF OF AN ENTIRE FORTUNE IN AN AMERI 
CAN RAILWAY ASTOUNDING REVELATIONS DOWN THE RHINE DEPARTURE 

FOR HOLLAND, 430 



CHAP. XXX. IN HOLLAND. 



THE FINEST AND FLATTEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SUPER-CLEANLINESS 

HABITS AND CUSTOMS " KREMIS " THE ALBINO FAMILY THE HAGUE 

AUGUST BELMONT JAPANESE MUSEUM MANUFACTURED FABULOUS ANI 
MALS A GENEROUS OFFER VALUABLE PICTURES AN ASTONISHED SUPER 
INTENDENT BACK TO ENGLAND EXHIBITIONS IN MANCHESTER 1 RETURN 

AGAIN TO AMERICA FUN ON THE VOYAGE MOCK TRIALS BARNUM AS A 

PROSECUTOR AND AS A PRISONER COLD SHOULDERS IN NEW YORK PRE 
PARING TO MOVE INTO MY OLD HOME CARELESS PAINTERS AND CARPEN 
TERS IRANISTAN BURNED TO THE GROUND NEXT TO NO INSURANCE 
SALE OF THE PROPERTY ELI AS HOWE, JR., 441 

CHAP. XXXI. THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 



BACK OXCE MORE TO ENGLAND TOUR THROUGH SCOTLAND AND WALES- 
HOW I CAME TO LECTURE ADVICE OF MY FRIENDS MY LECTURE HOW 
TO MAKE MONEY AND HOW TO KEEP IT WHAT THE PAPERS SAID ABOUT 
ME PRAISE OF THE LONDON PRESS LECTURING IN THE PROVINCES- 
PERFORMANCES AT CAMBRIDGE CALL FOR JOICE HETH EXTRAORDINARY 
FUN AT OXFORD THE AUDIENCE AND LECTURER TAKING TURNS A UNI 
VERSITY BREAKFAST MAGNIFICENT OFFER FOR A COPYRIGHT SUCCESS 
OF MY ENTERPRISE MORE MONEY FOrt THE CLOCK CREDITORS, . . 456 



CHAP. XXXIL AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN. 



AN ENGLISH YANKEE MY FIRST INTERVIEW WITH HIM HIS PLANS BASED 
ON BARNUM S BOOK ADVERTISING FOR PARTNERS HOW MY RULES MA.DE 
HIM RICH METHOD IN MADNESS THE "BARNUM" OF BURY DINNER TO 

TOM THUMB AND COMMODORE N UTT MY AGENT IN PARIS MEASURING A 

MONSTER HO\V GIANTS AND DWARFS STRETCH AND CONTRACT AN UN 
WILLING FRENCHMAN A PERSISTENT MEASURER A GIGANTIC HUMBUG 

THE STEAM ENGINES "BARNUM" AND "CHARITY" WHAT "CHARITY" DID 

FOR "BARNUM" SELLING THE SAME GOODS A THOUSAND TIMES THE 
GREAT CAKES SIMNAL SUNDAY THE SANITARY COMMISSION FAIR, 506 



CONTENTS. 21 

CHAP. XXXIII. RICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIN. 



AT HOME EXTINGUISHMENT OP THE CLOCK DEBTS A RASCALLY PROPOSI- 

TION BARNUM ON HIS FEET AGAIN RE-PURCHASE OF THE MUSEUM 

A GALA DAY MY RECEPTION BY MY FRIENDS THE STORY OF MY 
TROUBLES HOW I WADED ASHORE PROMISES TO THE PUBLIC THE PUB- 

LIC RESPONSE MUSEUM VISITORS THE RECEIPTS DOUBLED HOW THE 

PRESS RECEIVED THE NEWS OF RESTORATION THE SYCOPHANTS OLD 

AND FAST FRIENDS ROBERT BONNER CONSIDERATION AND COURTESY OF 
CREDITORS THE BOSTON SATURDAY EVENING GAZETTE AGAIN ANOTHER 
WORD FOR BARNUM, . .^ VJ ^ "^^ _ ^^ i ^ ^ f T> , * 516 

CHAP. XXXIV. MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

A REMARKABLE CHARACTER OLD GRIZZLY ADAMS THE CALIFORNIA MENAGE 
RIE TERRIBLY WOUNDED BY BEARS MY UP-TOWN SHOW EXTRAORDI 
NARY WILL AND VIGOR A LESSON FOR MUNCHAUSEN THE CALIFORNIA 
GOLDEN PIGEONS PIGEONS OF ALL COLORS PROCESS OF THEIR CREATION 

M. GUILLADEU A NATURALIST DECEIVED THE MOST WONDERFUL BIRDS 

IN THE WORLD THE CURIOSITIES TRANSFERRED TO THE MENAGERIE OLD 

ADAMS TAKEN IN A CHANGE OF COLOR MOTLEY THE ONLY WEAR OLD 

GRIZZLY UNDECEIVED TOUR OF THE BEAR-TAMER THROUGH THE COUNTRY 
A BEAUTIFUL HUNTING SUIT A LIFE AND DEATH STRUGGLE FOR A 

WAGER OLD ADAMS WINS HIS DEATH THE LAST JOKE ON BARNUM 

THE PRINCE OF WALES VISITS THE MUSEUM I CALL ON THE PRINCE IN 

BOSTON STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS "BEFORE AND AFTER" IN A BARBER SHOP 

HOW TOM HIGGINSON "DID" BARNUM THE MUSEUM FLOURISHING, 529 

CHAP. XXXV. EAST BRIDGEPORT. 



ANOTHER NEW HOME LINDENCROFT PROGRESS OF MY PET CITY THE 
CHESTNUT WOOD FIRE HOW IT BECAME OLD HICKORY INDUCEMENTS TO 

SETTLERS MY OFFER EVERY MAN HIS OWN HOUSE-OWNER WHISKY 

AND TOBACCO RISE IN REAL-ESTATE PEMBROKE LAKE WASHINGTON 
PARK GREAT MANUFACTORIES WHEELER AND WILSON SCHUYLER, HART 
LEY AND GRAHAM HOTCHKISS, SON AND COMPANY STREET NAMES 
MANY THOUSAND SHADE TREES BUSINESS IN THE NEW CITY UNPARAL 
LELED GROWTH AND PROSPERITY PROBABILITIES IN THE FUTURE SITUA 
TION OF BRIDGEPORT ITS ADVANTAGES AND PROSPECTS THE SECOND, IF 
NOT THE FOREMOST CITY IN CONNECTICUT, . . ^ Y" , , 549 



CHAP. XXXVI. MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

ANOTHER RE-OPENING A CHERRY-COLORED CAT THE CAT LET OUT OF THE 
BAG MY FIRST WHALING EXPEDITION PLANS FOR CAPTURE SUCCESS 
OF THE SCHEME TRANSPORTING LIVING WHALES BY LAND PUBLIC EX 
CITEMENT THE GREAT TANK SALT WATER PUMPED FROM THE BAY TO 

THE MUSEUM MORE WHALES EXPEDITION TO LABRADOR THE FIRST 

HIPPOPOTAMUS IN AMERICA TROPICAL FISH COMMODORE NUTT AND HIS 

FIRST "ENGAGEMENT" THE TWO DROMIOS PRESIDENT LINCOLN SEES 
COMMODORE NUTT WADING ASHORE A QUESTION OF LEGS SELF-DECEP 
TION THE GOLDEH ANGEL FISH ANNA SWAN, THE NOVA SCOTIA GIANT 
ESS THE TALLEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD INDIAN CHIEFS EXPEDITION 
TO CYPRUS MY AGENT IN A PASHA S HAREM, 56Q 



22 CONTENTS. 

CHAP. XXXVIL MR. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

MISS LAVINIA WARREN A CHARMING LITTLE LADY SUPPOSED TO BE THE 
$30,000 NUTT IN DISGUISE HER WARDROBE AND PRESENTS STORY OF A 

RING THE LITTLE COMMODORE IN LOVE TOM THUMB SMITTEN RIVALRY 

OF THE DWARFS JEALOUSY OF THE GENERAL VISIT AT BRIDGEPORT 

THE GENERAL S STYLISH TURN-OUT MISS WARREN IMPRESSED CALL OF 
THE GENERAL A LILLIPUTIAN LOVE SCENE TOM THUMB S INVENTORY OF 
HIS PROPERTY HE PROPOSES AND IS ACCEPTED ARRIVAL OF THE COM 
MODORE HIS GRIEF EXCITEMENT OVER THE ENGAGEMENT THE WED 
DING IN GRACE CHURCH REVEREND JUNIUS WILLEY A SPICY LETTER 
BY POCTOR TAYLOR GRAND RECEPTION OF MR. AND MRS. STRATTON 
THE COMMODORE IN SEARCH OF A GREEN COUNTRY GIRL, .... 582 

CHAP. XXXVIII. POLITICAL AND PERSONAL. 



MY POLITICAL PRINCIPLES REASONS FOR MY CHANGE OF PARTIES KANSAS 

AND SECESSION WIDE-AWAKES GRAND ILLUMINATION OF UNDENCROFT 

JOKE ON A DEMOCRATIC NEIGHBOR PEACE MEETINGS THE STEPNEY EX 
CITEMENT TEARING DOWN A PEACE FLAG A LOYAL MEETING RECEP 
TION IN BRIDGEPORT DESTRUCTION OF THE " FARMER " OFFICE ELTAS 

HOWE, JR. SAINT PETER AND SALTPETRE DRAFT RIOTS BURGLARS AT 
LINDENCROFT MY ELECTION TO THE LEGISLATURE BEGINNING OF MY 
WAR ON RAILROAD MONOPOLIES WIRE-PULLING THE XIV. AMENDMENT 
TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION STRIKING THE WORD " WHITE " 
FROM THE CONNECTICUT CONSTITUTION MY SPEECH, ...... 609 

CHAP. XXXIX. THE AMERICAN MUSEUM IN RUINS. 

A TERRIBLE LOSS HOW I RECEIVED THE NEWS BURNING OF THE AMERICAN 
MUSEUM DETAILS OF THE DISASTER FAITH IN HERRING S SAFES BAKED 
AND BOILED WHALES THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE ON THE DESTRUCTION OF 
THE MUSEUM A PUBLIC CALAMITY SYMPATHY OF THE LEADING EDITORS 
AMOUNT OF MY LOSS SMALL INSURANCE MY PROPERTY INTENTION TO 
RETIRE TO PRIVATE LIFE HORACE GREELEY ADVISES ME TO GO A-FISHING 
BENEFIT TO THE MUSEUM EMPLOYEES AT THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC MY 
SPEECH WHAT THE NEW YORK SUN SAID ABOUT IT THE NEW UP-TOWN 
MUSEUM OPENING THE ESTABLISHMENT TO THE PUBLIC, .... 638 

CHAP. XL. MY WAR ON THE RAILROADS. 

SCENES IN THE LEGISLATURE SHARP-SHOOTINGPROPOSITIONS FOR A NEW 
CAPITAL OF CONNECTICUT THE RIVALRY OF CITIES CULMINATION OF 
THE RAILROAD CONTROVERSY EXCITEMENT AMONG THE LOBBYISTS A 
BILL FOR THE BENEFIT OF COMMUTERS PEOPLE PROTECTED FROM THE 
PLUNDERERS HOW SETTLERS ARE DRAWN INTO A STATE AND THEN 
CHEATED BY THE RAILROAD COMPANIES EQUAL RIGHTS FOR COMMUTERS 

AND TRANSIENT PASSENGERS WHAT COMMODORE VANDERBILT DID WHAT 

THE NEW YORK AND NEW HAVEN RAILROAD COMPANY WANTED TO DO- 
EXPOSURE OF THEIR PLOT CONSTERNATION OF THE CONSPIRATORS MY 
VICTORY AGAIN ELECTED TO THE LEGISLATURE UNITED STATES SENATOR 
FERRY EX-GOVERNOR W. A. BUCKINGHAM THEODORE TILTON GOVERNOR 
HAWLEY FRIENDS AT LINDENCROFT NOMINATED FOR CONGRESS AND 
DEFEATED, ,., . ,/ V ,V . V V; :* t , 49 



CONTENTS. 
CHAP. XLI. BENNETT AND THE HERALD. 



THE AMERICAN MUSEUM LEASE ITS VALUE BENNETT OF THE HERALD BUYS 
IT FOR $200,000 HE PURCHASES THE PROPERTY OVERESTIMATE OF ITS 
WORTH MAX MARETZEK MISS CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG S ESTIMATE OF 

CERTAIN PEOPLE THE POWER BEHIND THE HERALD THRONE THE HER- 

ALD S INFI/UENCK AND HARD EXPERIENCE HIS LAWYER INSISTS 
UPON MY TAKING BACK THE MUSEUM LEASE I DECLINE BENNETT RE 
FUSES MY ADVERTISEMENTS INTERVIEW WITH MR. HUDSON WAR OF THE 
MANAGERS UPON THE HERALD BENNETT HUMBLED LOSS OF THE HERALL> s 
PRESTIGE MONEY DAMAGE TO BENNETT S ESTABLISHMENT THE EDITOR 
SUED PEACE BETWEEN THE HERALD AND THE MANAGERS, .... 665 



CHAP. XLIL PUBLIC LECTURING. 



MY TOUR AT THE WEST THE CURIOSITY EXHIBITOR HIMSELF A CURIOSITY 
BUYING A FARM IN WISCONSIN HELPING THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES 
A RIDE ON A LOCOMOTIVE PUNCTUALITY IN MY ENGAGEMENTS TRICKS 
TO SECURE SEATS IN THE LADIES CAR I SUDDENLY BECAME FATHER TO 
A YOUNG MARRIED COUPLE - MY IDENTITY DENIED PITY AND CHARITY 
REVEREND DOCTOR CHAPIN PULLS THE BELL TEMPERANCE HOW I BECAME 
A TEETOTALER - MODERATE DRINKING AND ITS DANGERS DOCTOR CHA- 
PIN S LECTURE IN BRIDGEPORT MY OWN EFFORTS IN THE TEMPERANCE 
CAUSE LECTURING THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY NEWSPAPER ARTICLES 
THE STORY OF VINELAND, IN NEW JERSEY, ......... ^?6 

CHAP. XLIII. THE NEW MUSEUM. 



.--;;, TflvTSiVlpTf; V. I - . . 

A GIGANTIC AMUSEMENT COMPANY IMMENSE ADDITIONS TO THE NEW COL 
LECTION CURIOSITIES FROM EVERYWHERE THE GORDON CUMMINGS* COL 
LECTION FROM AFRICA - THE GORILLA WHAT THE PAPERS SAID ABOUT 
THE MONSTER MY PRIVATE VIEW OF THE ANIMAL AMUSING- INTERVIEW 
WITH PAUL DU CHAILLU A SUPERB MENAGERIE - THE NEW THEATRE - 
PROJECT FOR A FREE NATIONAL INSTITUTION MESSRS. E. D. MORGAN, 
WILLIAM C. BRYANT, HORACE GREELEY AND OTHERS FAVOR MY PLAN - 
PRESIDENT JOHNSON INDORSES IT - DESTRUCTION OF MY SECOND MUSEUM 
BY FIRE THE ICE-CLAD RUINS A SAD, YET SPLENDID SPECTACLE OUT 
OF THE BUSINESS FOOT RACES AT THE WHITE MOUNTAINS HOW I WAS 
NOT BEATEN OPENING OF WOOD S MUSEUM IN NEW YORK MY ONLY 
INTEREST IN THE ENTERPRISE, .............. 692 

CHAP, XLIV. CURIOUS COINCIDENCES. NUMBER THIRTEEN. 

POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS UNLUCKY FRIDAY UNFORTUNATE SATURDAY- 
RAINY SUNDAYS TERRIBLE THIRTEEN THE BRETTELLS OF LONDON IN 
CIDENTS OF MY WESTERN TRIP SINGULAR FATALITY NUMBER THIRTEEN 
IN EVERY HOTEL - NO ESCAPE FROM THE FRIGHTFUL FIGURE ADVICE OF 
A CLERICAL FRIEND THE THIRTEEN COLONIES THE THIRTEENTH CHAP 
TER OF CORINTHIANS THIRTEEN AT MY CHRISTMAS DINNER PARTY THIR- 
TEBN DOLLARS AT A FAIR TWO DISASTROUS DAYS THE THIRTEENTH 
DAY IN TWO MONTHS THIRTEEN PAGES OF MANUSCRIPT, ... 70S 



24 



CONTENTS. 
CHAP. XLV. A STORY CHAPTER. 



"EVERY MAN TO HIS VOCATION" AND "NATURE WILL ASSERT HERSELF" 

REST BY THE WAYSIDE A HALF-SHAVED PARTY CONSTERNATION OF A 

CLERGYMAN NATIVES IN NEW YORK DOCTORING A CORN-DOCTOR RELI 
GIOUS RAILWAYS THE BRIGHTON BUGLE BUSINESS CASH AND CONSCIENCE 
CASTLES IN THE AIR A DELUDED ANTIQUARIAN GAMBLING AND POLI 
TICS IRISH WIT ABOUT CONDUCTORS DR. CHAPIN AS A PUNSTER FOWL 
ATTEMPTS A PAIR o DUCKS CUTTING A SICK FRIEND REV. RICHARD 
VARICK DEY HIS CRIME AND ITS CONSEQUENCES FOREORDINATION 
PRACTICAL JOKING BY MY FATHFR A VALUABLE RACE-HORSE HOW HE 
WAS LET AND THEN KILLED AGONY OF THE HORSE-KILLER THE FINAL 
"SELL" FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC FRENCH COCKNEYISM WICKED WORDS 

IN EXETER HALL, 718 

CHAP. XLVL SEA-SIDE PARK. 



INTEREST IN PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS OLD PARK PROJECTS OPPOSITION OF 
OLD FOGIES THE SOUND SHORE AT BRIDGEPORT INACCESSIBLE PROP 
ERTY THE EYE OF FAITH TALKING TO THE FARMERS REACHING THE 
PUBLIC THROUGH THE PAPERS HOW THE LAND WAS SECURED FOR A 

GREAT PLEASURE-GROUND GIFTS TO THE PEOPLE OPENING OF SEA-SIDE 

PARK THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GROUND BETWEEN NEW YORK AND BOSTON 
MAGNIFICENT DRIVES THE ADVANTAGES OF THE LOCATION MUSIC FOR 
THE MILLION BY THE SEA-SIDE FUTURE OF THE PARK A PERPETUAL 
BLESSING TO POSTERITY, 758 

CHAP. XLVIL WALDEMERE. 

MY PRIVATE LIFE PLANS FOR THE PUBLIC BENEFIT IN BRIDGEPORT OPEN 
ING AVENUES PLANTING SHADE-TREES OLD FOGIES CONSERVATISM A 
CURSE TO CITIES BENEFITING BARNUM s PROPERTY SALE OF LINDEN- 
CROFTLIVING IN A FARM-HOUSEBY THE SEA-SHORE ANOTHER NEW 
HOME WALDEMERE HOW IT CAME TO BE BUILT MAGIC AND MONEY 
WAVEWOOD AND THE PETREL S NEST MY FARM THE HOLLAND BLANKET 
CATTLE MY CITY RESIDENCE COMFORTS OF CITY LIFE BEGGING LET 
TERS MY FAMILY RELIGIOUS REFLECTIONS MY FIFTY-NINTH BIRTHDAY 
THE END OF THE RECORD. 768 



CHAPTER L 



EARLY LIFE. 

MY BIRTH FIRST PROPERTY FARMER-BOY LIFE GOING TO- SCHOOL EARLY 
ACQUISITIVENESS A HOLIDAY PEDDLER FIRST VISIT TO NEW YORK LEARN 
ING TO " SWAP " MISERIES FROM MOLASSES CANDY " IVY ISLAND" 
ENTERING UPON MY ESTATE CLERKSHIP IN A COUNTRY STORE TRADING 
ar ORALS THE BETHEL MEETING-HOUSE STOVE QUESTION SUNDAY SCHOOL 
AND BIBLE CLASS MY COMPOSITION THE ONE THING NEEDFUL. 



I WAS born in the town of Bethel, in the State of 
Connecticut, July 5, 1810. My name, Phineas Taylor, 
is derived from my maternal grandfather, who was a 
great wag in his way, and who, as I was his first grand 
child, gravely handed over to my mother at my christen 
ing a gift-deed, in my behalf, of five acres of land 
situated in that part of the parish of Bethel known as 
the " Plum Trees." I was thus a real estate owner 
almost at my very birth ; and of my property, " Ivy 
Island," something shall be said anon. 

My father, Philo Barnum, was the son of Ephraim 
Barnum, of Bethel, who was a captain in the revolu 
tionary war. My father was a tailor, a farmer, and 
sometimes a tavern-keeper, and my advantages and dis 
advantages were such as fall to the general run of 
farmers boys. I drove cows to and from the pasture, 
shelled corn, weeded the garden ; as I grew larger, I 
rode horse for ploughing, turned and raked hay ; in due 
tune I handled the shovel and the hoe, and when I 
could do so I went to school. 



26 EARLY LIFE. 

I was six years old when I began to go to school, and 
the first date I remember inscribing upon my writing- 
book was 1818. The ferule, in those days, was the 
assistant school-master; but in spite of it, I was a 
willing, and, I think, a pretty apt scholar ; at least, I 
was so considered by my teachers and schoolmates, and 
as the years went on there were never more than two 
or three in the school who were deemed my superiors. 
In arithmetic I was unusually ready and accurate, and I 
remember, at the age of twelve years, being called out 
of bed one night by my teacher who had wagered with 
a neighbor that I could calculate the correct number of 
feet in a load of wood in five minutes. The dimensions 
given, I figured out the result in less than two minutes, 
to the great delight of my teacher and to the equal 
astonishment of his neighbor. 

My organ of " acquisitiveness " was manifest at an 
early age. Before I was five years of age, I began to 
accumulate pennies and " four-pences," and when I was 
six years old my capital amounted to a sum sufficient to 
exchange for a silver dollar, the possession of which 
made me feel far richer and more independent than I 
have ever since felt in the world. 

Nor did my dollar long remain alone. As I grew 
older I earned ten cents a day for riding the horse 
which led the ox team in ploughing, and on holidays 
and " training days," instead of spending money, I 
earned it. I was a small peddler of molasses candy (of 
home make), ginger-bread, cookies and cherry rum, -and 
I generally found myself a dollar or two richer at the 
end of a holiday than I was at the beginning. I was 
always ready for a trade, and by the time I was twelve 
years old, besides other property, I was the owner of 



EARLY LIFE. 27 

a sheep and a calf, and should soon, no doubt, have 
become a small Croesus, had not my father kindly 
permitted me to purchase my own clothing, which 
somewhat reduced my little store. 

When I was nearly twelve years old I made my first 
visit to the metropolis. It happened in this wise : Late 
one afternoon in January, 1822, Mr. Daniel Brown, of 
Southbury, Connecticut, arrived at my father s tavern, 
in Bethel, with some fat cattle he was driving to New 
York to sell. The cattle were put into our large barn 
yard, the horses were stabled, and Mr. Brown and his 
assistant were provided with a warm supper and lodging 
for the night. After supper I heard Mr. Brown say to 
my father that he intended to buy more cattle , and that 
he would be glad to hire a boy to assist in driving the 
cattle. I immediately besought my father to secure the 
situation for me, and he did so. My mother s consent 
was also gained, and at daylight next morning, after a 
slight breakfast, I started on foot in the midst of a 
heavy snow storm to help drive the cattle. Before 
reaching Ridgefield, I was sent on horseback after a 
stray ox, and, in galloping, the horse fell and my ankle 
was sprained. I suffered severely, but did not com 
plain lest my employer should send me back. But he 
considerately permitted me to ride behind him on his 
horse ; and, indeed, did so most of the way to New 
York, where we arrived in three or four days. 

We put up at the Bull s Head Tavern, where we were 
to stay a week while the drover was disposing of his cat 
tle, and we were then to return home in a sleigh. It 
was an eventful week for me. Before I left home my 
mother had given me a dollar which I supposed would 
supply every want that heart could wish. My first out- 



28 EABLY LIFE. 

lay was for oranges which I was told were four pence 
apiece, and as "four-pence" in Connecticut was six 
cents, I offered ten cents for two oranges which was of 
course readily taken ; and thus, instead of saving two 
cents, as I thought, I actually paid two cents more than 
the price demanded. I then bought two more oranges, 
reducing my capital to eighty cents. Thirty-one cents 
was the " charge " for a small gun which would " go 
off" and send a stick some little distance, and this gun 
I bought. Amusing myself with this toy in the bar 
room of the Bull s Head, the arrow happened to hit the 
barkeeper, who forthwith came from behind the counter 
and shook me and soundly boxed my ears, telling me to 
put that gun out of the way or he would put it into the 
fire. I sneaked to my room, put my treasure under 
the pillow, and went out for another visit to the toy 
shop. 

There I invested six cents in " torpedoes," with 
which I intended to astonish my schoolmates in Bethel. 
I could not refrain, however, from experimenting upon 
the guests of the hotel, which I did when they were 
going in to dinner. I threw two of the torpedoes 
against the wall of the hall through which the guests 
were passing, and the immediate results were as fol 
lows: two loud reports, astonished guests, irate 
landlord, discovery of the culprit, and summary pun 
ishment for the landlord immediately floored me with 
a single blow with his open hand, and said : 

" There, you little greenhorn, see if that will teach 
you better than to explode your infernal fire crackers in 
my house again." ^ 

The lesson was sufficient if not entirely satisfactory. 
I deposited the balance of the torpedoes with my gun, 



EARLY LIFE. 29 

and as a solace for my wounded feelings I again visited 
the toy shop, where I bought a watch, breastpin and 
top, leaving but eleven cents of my original dollar. 

The following morning found me again at the fasci 
nating toy shop, where I saw a beautiful knife with two 
blades, a gimlet, and a corkscrew, a whole carpenter 
shop in miniature, and all for thirty-one cents. But, 
alas ! I had only eleven cents. Have that knife I must, 
however, and so I proposed to the shop woman to take 
back the top and breastpin at a slight deduction, and 
with my eleven cents to let me have the knife. The 
kind creature consented, and this makes memorable my 
first "swap." Some fine and nearly white molasses 
candy then caught my eye, and I proposed to trade the 
watch for its equivalent in candy. The transaction 
was made and the candy was so delicious that before 
night my gun was absorbed in the same way. The next 
morning the torpedoes " went off" in the same direc 
tion, and before night even my beloved knife was simi 
larly exchanged. My money and my goods all gone I 
traded two pocket handkerchiefs and an extra pair of 
stockings I was sure I should not want for nine more 
rolls of molasses candy, and then wandered about the 
city disconsolate, sighing because there was no more 
molasses candy to conquer. 

I doubt not that in these first wanderings about the 
city I often passed the corner of Broadway and Ann 
Street never dreaming of the stir I was destined at a 
future day to make in that locality as proprietor and 
manager of the American Museum. 

After wandering, gazing and wondering, for a week, 
Mr. Brown took me in his sleigh and on the evening of 
the following day we arrived in Bethel. I had a 



30 EARLY LIFE. 

thousand questions to answer, and then and for a long 
time afterwards I was quite a lion among my mates 
because I had seen the great metropolis. My brothers 
and sisters, however, were much disappointed at my 
not bringing them something from my dollar, and when 
my mother examined my wardrobe .and found two 
pocket handkerchiefs and one pair of stockings missing 
she whipped me and sent me to bed. Thus inglori- 
ously terminated mj first visit to New York. 

Previous to my visit to New York, I think it was in 
18*20, when I was ten years of age, I made my first 
expedition to my landed property, " Ivy Island." This, 
it will be remembered, was the gift of my grandfather, 
from whom I derived my name. From the time when I 
was four years old I was continually hearing of this 
" property." My grandfather always spoke of me (in 
my presence) to the neighbors and to strangers as 
the richest child in town, since I owned the whole of 
" Ivy Island," one of the most valuable farms in the 
State. My father and mother frequently reminded 
me of my wealth and hoped I would do something for 
the family when I attained my majority. The neigh 
bors professed to fear that I might refuse to play 
with their children because I had inherited so large 
a property. 

These constant allusions, for several years, to "Ivy 
Island" excited at once my pride and my curiosity 
and stimulated me to implore my father s permission 
to visit my property. At last, he promised I should 
do so in a few days, as we should be getting 
some hay near " Ivy Island." The wished for day at 
length arrived and my father told me that as we 
were to mow an adjoining meadow, I might visit my 



EARLY LIFE. 31 

property in company with the hired man during the 
" nooning." My grandfather reminded me that it was 
to his bounty I was indebted for this wealth, and 
that had not my name been Phineas I might never have 
been proprietor of " Ivy Island." To this my mother 
added : 

" Now, Taylor, do n t become so excited when you see 
your property as to let your joy make you sick, for 
remember, rich as you are, that it will be eleven years 
before you can come into possession of your fortune." 

She added much more good advice, to all of which I 
promised to be calm and reasonable and not to allow 
my pride to prevent me from speaking to my brothers 
and sisters when I returned home. 

When we arrived at the meadow, which was in that 
part of the " Plum Trees " known as " East Swamp," 
I asked my father where " Ivy Island " was. 

" Yonder, at the north end of this meadow, where 
you see those beautiful tress rising in the distance." 

All the forenoon I turned grass as fast as two men 
could cut it, and after a hasty repast at noon, one of our 
hired men, a good natured Irishman, named Edmund, 
took an axe on his shoulder and announced that he was 
ready to accompany me to " Ivy Island." We started, 
and as we approached the north end of the meadow we 
found the ground swampy and wet and were soon 
obliged to leap from bog to bog on our route. A mis 
step brought me up to my middle in water. To add to 
the dilemma a swarm of hornets attacked me. Attain 
ing .the altitude of another bog I was cheered by the 
assurance that there was only a quarter of a mile of this 
kind of travel to the edge of my property. I waded on. 
In about fifteen minutes more, after floundering through 



32 EARLY LIFE. 

the morass, I found myself half-drowned, hornet-stung, 
mud- covered, and out of breath, on comparatively dry 
land. 

" Never mind, my boy," said Edmund, " we have only 
to cross this little creek, and ye ll be upon your own 
valuable property." 

We were on the margin of a stream, the banks of 
which were thickly covered with alders. I now dis 
covered the use of Edmund s axe, for he felled a small 
oak to form a temporary bridge to my " Island " prop 
erty. Crossing over, I proceeded to the centre of my 
domain ; I saw nothing but a few stunted ivies and strag 
gling trees. The truth flashed upon me. I had been 
the laughing-stock of the family and neighborhood for 
years. My valuable " Ivy Island " was an almost 
inaccessible, worthless bit of barren land, and while I 
stood deploring my sudden downfall, a huge black snake 
(one of my tenants) approached me with upraised head. 
I gave one shriek and rushed for the bridge. 

This was my first, and, I need not say, my last visit to 
" Ivy Island." My father asked me " how I liked my 
property I " and I responded that I would sell it pretty 
cheap. My grandfather congratulated me upon my 
visit to my property as seriously as if it had been indeed 
a valuable domain. My mother hoped its richness had 
fully equalled my anticipations. The neighbors desired 
to know if I was not now glad I was named Phindas, 
and for five years forward I was frequently reminded 
of my wealth in " Ivy Island." 

As I grew older, my settled aversion to manual labor, 
farm or other kind, was manifest in various ways, which 
were set down to the general score of laziness. In 
despair of doing better with me, my father concluded to 



EARLY LIFE. 33 

make a merchant of me. He erected a building in Bethel, 
and with Mr. Hiram Weed as a partner, purchased a 
stock of dry goods, hardware, groceries, and general 
notions and installed me as clerk in this country store. 

Of course I " felt my oats." It was condescension on 
my part to talk with boys who did out-door work. I 
stood behind the counter with a pen over my ear, was 
polite to the ladies, and was wonderfully active in wait 
ing upon customers. We kept a cash, credit and barter 
store, and I drove some sharp bargains with women 
who brought butter, eggs, beeswax and feathers to 
exchange for dry goods, and with men who wanted to 
trade oats, corn, buckwheat, axe-helves, hats, and other 
commodities for tenpenny nails, molasses, or New 
England rum. But it was a drawback upon my dignity 
that I was obliged to take down the shutters, sweep the 
store, and make the fire. I received a small salary for 
my services and the perquisite of what profit I could 
derive from purchasing candies on my own account to 
sell to our younger customers, and, as usual, my father 
stipulated that I should clothe myself. 

There is a great deal to be learned in a country 
store, and principally this that sharp trades, tricks, 
dishonesty, and deception are by no means confined 
to the city. More than once, in cutting open bundles 
of rags, brought to be exchanged for goods, and 
warranted to be all linen and cotton, I have discovered 
in the interior worthless woolen trash and sometimes 
stones, gravel or ashes. Sometimes, too, when measur 
ing loads of oats, corn or rye, declared to contain 
a specified number of bushels, say sixty, I have found 
them four or five bushels short. In such cases, some 
one else was always to blame, but these happenings 



34: EAKLY LIFE. 

were frequent enough to make us watchful of our 
customers. In the evenings and on wet days trade was 
always dull, and at such times the story-telling and 
joke-playing wits and wags of the village used to 
assemble in our store, and from them I derived con 
siderable amusement, if not profit. - After the store was 
closed at night, I frequently joined some of the village 
boys at the houses of their parents, where, with story 
telling and play, a couple of hours would soon pass by, 
and then as late, perhaps, as eleven o clock, I went 
home and slyly crept up stairs so as not to awaken my 
brother with whom I slept, and who would be sure 
to report my late hours. He made every attempt, and 
laid all sorts of plans to catch me on my return, 
but as sleep always overtook him, I managed easily to 
elude his efforts. 

Like most people in Connecticut in those days, I was 
brought up to attend church regularly on Sunday, and 
long before I could read I was a prominent scholar 
in the Sunday school. My good mother taught me my 
lessons in the New Testament and the Catechism, 
and my every effort was directed to win one of those 
" Rewards of Merit," which promised to pay the bearer 
one mill, so that ten of these prizes amounted to 
one cent, and one hundred of them, which might 
be won by faithful assiduity every Sunday for two years, 
would buy a Sunday school book worth ten cents. 
Such were the magnificent rewards held out to the 
religious ambition of youth. 

There was but one church or " meeting-house " in 
Bethel, which all attended, sinking all differences 
of creed in the Presbyterian faith. The old meeting 
house had neither steeple nor bell and was a plain 



EAELY LIFE. 35 

edifice, comfortable enough in summer, but my teeth, 
chatter even now when I think of the dreary, cold, 
freezing hours we passed in that place in winter. A 
stove in a meeting-house in those days would have been 
a sacrilegious innovation. The sermons were from 
an hour and one half to two hours long, and through 
these the congregation would sit and shiver till they 
really merited the title the profane gave them of " blue 
skins," Some of the women carried a " foot-stove " 
consisting of a small square tin box in a wooden frame, 
the sides perforated, and in the interior there was a small 
square iron dish, which contained a few live coals 
covered with ashes. These stoves were usually replen 
ished just before meeting time at some neighbor s near 
the meeting-house. 

After many years of shivering and suffering, one of 
the brethren had the temerity to propose that the 
church should be warmed with a stove. His impious 
proposition was voted down by an overwhelming 
majority. . Another year came around, and in November 
the stove question was again brought up. The excite 
ment was immense. The subject was discussed in the 
village stores and in the juvenile debating club ; it 
was prayed over in conference ; and finally in general 
" society s meeting," in December, the stove was carried 
by a majority of one and was introduced into, the meet 
ing-house. On the first Sunday thereafter, two ancient 
maiden ladies were so oppressed by the dry and heated 
atmosphere occasioned by the wicked innovation, that 
they fainted away and were carried out into the cool air 
where they speedily returned to consciousness, espe 
cially when they were informed that owing to the lack 
of two lengths of pipe, no fire had yet been made in the 
2* 



36 EARLY LIFE. 

stove. The next Sunday was a bitter cold day, and the 
stove, filled with well-seasoned hickory, was a great 
gratification to the many, and displeased only a few. 
After the benediction, an old deacon rose and requested 
the congregation to remain, and called upon them to 
witness that he had from the first raised his voice 
against the introduction of a stove into the house of the 
Lord ; but the majority had been against him and he 
had submitted ; now, if they must have a stove, he 
insisted upon having a large one, since the present one 
did not heat the whole house, but drove the cold to the 
back outside pews, making them three times as cold as 
they were before ! In the course of the week, this 
deacon was made to comprehend that, unless on 
unusually severe days, the stove was sufficient to warm 
the house, and, at any rate, it did not drive all the cold 
in the house into one corner. 

During the Rev. Mr. Lowe s ministrations at Bethel, 
he formed a Bible class, of which I was a member. We 
used to draw promiscuously from a hat a text of scrip 
ture and write a composition on the text, which compo 
sitions were read after service in the afternoon, to such 
of the congregation as remained to hear the exercises 
of the class. Once, I remember, I drew the text, Luke 
x. 42 : " But one thing is needful ; and Mary hath 
chosen that good part which shall not be taken away 
from her." Question, " What is the one thing need 
ful ? " My answer was nearly as follows : 

" This question c what is the one thing needful I is 
capable of receiving various answers, depending much 
upon the" persons to whom it is addressed. The mer 
chant might answer that the one thing needful is 
plenty of customers, who buy liberally, without beating 



EARLY LIFE. 37 

down and pay cash, for all their purchases. The farmer 
might reply, that the one thing needful is large har 
vests and high prices. The physician might answer 
that it is plenty of patients/ The lawyer might be 
of opinion that it is an unruly community, always en 
gaged in bickerings and litigations/ The clergyman 
might reply, It is a fat salary with multitudes of sin 
ners seeking salvation and paying large pew rents/ 
The bachelor might exclaim, It is a pretty wife who 
loves her husband, and who knows how to sew on but 
tons/ The maiden might answer, It is a good hus 
band, who will love, cherish and protect me while life 
shall last/ But the most proper answer, and doubtless 
that which applied to the case of Mary, would be, The 
one thing needful is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, 
follow in his footsteps, love God and obey His com 
mandments, love our fellow-man, and embrace every 
opportunity of administering to his necessities. In short, 
the one thing needful is to live a life that we can 
always look back upon with satisfaction, and be enabled 
ever to contemplate its termination with trust in Him 
who has so kindly vouchsafed it to us, surrounding us 
with innumerable blessings, if we have but the heart 
and wisdom to receive them in a proper manner." 

The reading of a portion of this answer occasioned 
some amusement in the congregation, in which the 
clergyman himself joined, and the name of " Taylor 
Barnum " was whispered in connection with the compo 
sition ; but at the close of the reading I had the satisfac 
tion of hearing Mr. Lowe say that it was a well written 
and truthful answer to the question, " What is the one 
thing needful?" 

jrir r ;T 



CHAPTER H. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

DEATH OF MY GRANDMOTHER MT FATHER HIS CHARACTER HIS DEATH 
BEGINNING THE WORLD BAREFOOTED GOING TO GRASSY PLAINS THE TIN 
WARE AND GREEN BOTTLE LOTTERY " CHAIR Y " HALLETT OUR FIRST MEET 
ING EVENING RIDE TO BETHEL A NOVEL FUR TRADE OLD " RUSHIA " 
AND YOUNG "RUSHIA" THE BUYER SOLD COUNTRY STORE EXPERIENCES 

OLD " UNCLE BIBBINS" A TERIBLE DUEL BETWEEN BENTON AND BIBBINS 

FALL OF BENTON FLIGHT OF BIBBINS. 

IN the month of August, 1825, my maternal grand 
mother met with an accident in stepping on the point 
of a rusty nail, and, though the matter was at first con 
sidered trivial, it resulted in her death. Alarming 
symptoms soon made her sensible that she was on her 
death-bed ; and while she was in full possession of her 
faculties, the day before she died she sent for her grand 
children to take final leave of them. I shall never 
forget the sensations I experienced when she took me 
by the hand and besought me to lead a religious life, 
and especially to remember that I could in no way so 
effectually prove my love to God as by loving all my 
fellow-beings. The impressions of that death-bed scene 
have ever been among my most vivid recollections, and 
I trust they have proved in some degree salutary. A 
more exemplary woman, or a more sincere Christian 
than my grandmother, I have never known. 

My father, for his time and locality, was a man of 
much enterprise. He could, and actually did, " keep a 
hotel " ; he had a livery stable and ran, in a small way, 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 39 

what in our day would be called a Norwalk Express ; 
and he also kept a country store. With greater oppor 
tunities and a larger field for his efforts and energies, he 
might have been a man of mark and means. Not that 
he was successful, for he never did a profitable busi 
ness ; but I, who saw him in his various pursuits, and 
acted as his clerk, caught something of his enterpris 
ing spirit, and, perhaps without egotism, I may say 
I inherited that characteristic. My business education 
was as good as the limited field afforded, and I soon 
put it to account and service. 

On the 7th of September, 1825, my father, who had 
been sick since the month of March, died at the age of 
forty-eight years. My mother was left with five 
children, of whom I, at fifteen years of age, w as the 
eldest, while the youngest was but seven. It was soon 
apparent that my father had provided nothing for the 
support of his family ; his estate was insolvent, and it 
did not pay fifty cents on the dollar. My mother, 
by economy, industry, and perseverance, succeeded in a 
few years afterwards in redeeming the homestead and 
becoming its sole possessor ; but, at the date of the 
death of my father, the world looked gloomy indeed; 
the few dollars I had accumulated and loaned to my 
father, holding his note therefor, were decided to be 
the property of a minor, belonging to the father and so 
to the estate, and my small claim was ruled out. I was 
obliged to get trusted for the pair of shoes I wore to 
my father s funeral. I literally began the world with 
nothing, and was barefooted at that. 

Leaving Mr. Weed, I went to Grassy Plain, a mile 
northwest of Bethel, and secured a situation as clerk in 
the store of James S. Keeler & Lewis Whitlock at 



40 INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

six dollars a month and my board. I lived with Mrs. 
Jerusha Wheeler and her daughters, Jerusha and Mary, 
and found an excellent home. I chose my uncle, 
Alanson Taylor, as my guardian. I did my best to 
please my employers and soon gained their confidence 
and esteem and was regarded by them as an active 
clerk and a cute trader. They afforded me many 
facilities for making money on my own account and 
I soon entered upon sundry speculations and succeeded 
in getting a small sum of money ahead. 

I made a very remarkable trade at one time for 
my employers by purchasing, in their absence, a whole 
wagon load of green glass bottles of various sizes, for 
which I paid in unsalable goods at very profitable 
prices. How to dispose of the bottles was then the 
problem, and as it was also desirable to get rid of a 
large quantity of tin ware which had been in the shop 
for years and was considerably " shop-worn," I con 
ceived the idea of a lottery in which the highest prize 
should be twenty-five dollars, payable in any goods the 
winner desired, while there were to be fifty prizes 
of five dollars each, payable in goods, to be designated 
in the scheme. Then there were one hundred prizes 
of one dollar each, one hundred prizes of fifty cents 
each, and three hundred prizes of twenty-five cents 
each. It is unnecessary to state that the minor prizes 
consisted mainly of glass and tin ware ; the tickets 
sold like wildfire, and the worn tin and glass bottles 
were speedily turned into cash. 

As my mother continued to keep the village tavern 
at Bethel, I usually went home on Saturday night and 
stayed till Monday morning, going to church with iny 
mother on Sunday. This habit was the occasion of an 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 41 

experience of momentous consequence to me. One 
Saturday evening, during a violent thunder shower, Miss 
Mary Wheeler, a milliner, sent me word that there was 
a girl from Bethel at her house, who had come up on 
horseback to get a new bonnet ; that she was afraid to 
go back alone ; and if I was going to Bethel that even 
ing she wished me to escort her customer. I assented, 
and went over ta " Aunt Rushia s " where I was intro 
duced to "Chairy" (Charity) Hallett, a fair, rosy- 
cheeked, buxom girl, with beautiful white teeth. I 
assisted her to her saddle, and mounting my own horse, 
we trotted towards Bethel. 

My first impressions of this girl as I saw her at the 
house were exceedingly favorable. As soon as we 
started I began a conversation with her and finding her 
very affable I regretted that the distance to Bethel was 
not five miles instead of one. A flash of lightning gave 
me a distinct view of the face of my fair companion and 
then I wished the distance was twenty miles. During 
our ride I learned that she was a tailoress, working 
with Mr. Zerah Benedict, of Bethel. We soon arrived 
at our destination and I bid her good night and went 
home. The next day I saw her at church, and, indeed, 
many Sundays afterwards, but I had no opportunity to 
renew the acquaintance that season. 

Mrs. Jerusha Wheeler, with whom I boarded, and her 
daughter Jerusha were familiarly known, the one as 
" Aunt Rushia," and the other as " Rushia." Many of 
our store customers were hatters, and among the many 
kinds of furs we sold for the nap of hats was one known 
to the trade as " Russia. 37 One day a hatter, Walter 
Dibble, called to buy some furs. I sold him several 
kinds, including "beaver" and " cony," and he then 



42 INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

asked for some "Russia." We had none, and, as I 
wanted to play a joke upon him, I told him that Mrs. 
Wheeler had several hundred pounds of " Russia." 

" What on earth is a woman doing with Russia"? " 
said he. 

I could not answer, but I assured him that there 
were one hundred and thirty pounds of old Rushia and 
one hundred and fifty pounds of young Rushia in Mrs. 
Wheeler s house, and under her charge, but whether or 
not it was for sale I could not say. Off he started to 
make the purchase and knocked at the door. Mrs. 
Wheeler, the elder, made her appearance. 

" I want to get your Russia," said the hatter. 

Mrs. Wheeler asked him to walk in and be seated. 
She, of course, supposed that he had come for her 
daughter " Rushia." 

" What do you want of Rushia? " asked the old lady. 

" To make hats," was the reply. 

"To trim hats, I suppose you mean]" responded 
Mrs. Wheeler. 

" No, for the outside of hats," replied the hatter. 

" Well, I do n t know much about hats," said the old 
lady, ^but I will call my daughter." 

Passing into another room where " Rushia " the 
younger was at work, she informed her that a man 
wanted her to make hats. 

" Oh, he means sister Mary, probably. I suppose he 
wants some ladies hats," replied Rushia, as she went 
into the parlor. 

" This is my daughter," said the old lady. 

" I want to get your Russia," said he, addressing 
the young lady. 

" 1 suppose you wish to see my sister Mary ; she is 
our milliner," said young Rushia. 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES 43 

" I wish to see whoever owns the property," said 
the hatter. 

Sister Mary was sent for, and as she was introduced, 
the hatter informed her that he wished to buy her 
" Russia." 

" Buy Rushia ! " exclaimed Mary in surprise ; " 1 
do n t understand you." 

" Your name is Miss Wheeler, I believe," said the 
hatter, who was annoyed by the difficulty he met with 
in being understood. 

" It is, sir." 

"Ah! very well. Is there old and young Russia 
in the house I " 

" I believe there is," said Mary, surprised at the 
familiar manner in which he spoke of her mother and 
sister, who were present. 

" What is the price of old Russia per pound? " asked 
the hatter. 

" I believe, sir, that old Rushia is not for sale," 
replied Mary indignantly. 

" Well, what do you ask for young Russia I " pur 
sued the hatter. 

"Sir," said Miss Rushia the younger, springing to 
her feet, " do you come here to insult defenceless 
females I If you do, sir, we will soon call our brother, 
who is in the garden, and he will punish you as you 
deserve." 

" Ladies ! " exclaimed the hatter, in astonishment, 
" what on earth have I done to offend you 1 I came 
here on a business matter. I want to buy some Russia. 
I was told you had old and young Russia in the house. 
Indeed, this young lady just stated such to be the fact, 
but she says the old Russia is not for sale. Now, if 



4:4 INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

I can buy the young Eussia I want to do so but 
if that can t be done, please to say so and I will trouble 
you no further." 

" Mother, open the door and let this man go out ; he 
is undoubtedly crazy," said Miss Mary. 

" By thunder ! I believe I shall be if I remain here 
long," exclaimed the hatter, considerably excited. " I 
wonder if folks never do business in these parts, that 
you think a man is crazy if he attempts such a thing I " 

" Business ! poor man ! " said Mary soothingly, ap 
proaching the door. 

" I am not a poor man, madam," replied the hatter. 
" My name is Walter Dibble ; I carry on hatting exten 
sively in D anbury ; I came to Grassy Plains to buy fur, 
and have purchased some beaver and cony, and 
now it seems I am to be called crazy and a poor 
man/ because I want to buy a little Russia to make 
up my assortment." 

The ladies began to open their eyes ; they saw that 
Mr. Dibble was quite in earnest, and his explanation 
threw considerable light upon the subject. 

" Who sent you here ? " asked sister Mary. 

" The clerk at the opposite store," was the reply. 

" He is a wicked young fellow for making all this 
trouble," said the old lady ; "he has been doing this 
for a joke." 

" A joke ! " exclaimed Dibble, in surprise. " Have 
you no Eussia, then ? " 

" My name is Jerusha, and so is my daughter s," said 
Mrs. Wheeler, " and that, I suppose, is what he meant 
by telling you about old and young Eushia." 

Mr. Dibble bolted through the door without another 
word and made directly for our store. w You young 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 45 



i 



scamp ! " said he as he entered ; " what did you mean 
by sending me over there to buy Russia 1 " 

" I did not send you to buy Rushia ; I supposed you 
were either a bachelor or widower and wanted to marry 
Rushia," I replied, with a serious countenance. 

" You lie, you young dog, and you know it ; but 
never mind, I 11 pay you off some day" ; and taking his 
furs, he departed with less ill-humor than could have 
been expected under the circumstances. 

Among our customers were three or four old Revolu 
tionary pensioners, who traded out the amounts of their 
pensions before they were due, leaving their papers as 
security. One of these pensioners was old Be vans, 
commonly known as " Uncle Bibbins," a man who loved 
his glass and was very prone to relate romantic Revolu 
tionary anecdotes and adventures, in which he, of 
course, was conspicuous. At one time he was in our 
debt, and though we held his pension papers, it 
would be three months before the money could be 
drawn. It was desirable to get him away for that 
length of time, and we hinted to him that it would be 
pleasant to make a visit to Guilford, where he had rela 
tions, but he would not go. Finally, I hit upon a plan 
which " moved " him. 

A journeyman hatter, named Ben ton, who was fond 
of a practical joke, was let into the secret, and was 
persuaded to call " Uncle Bibbins " a coward, to tell 
him that he had been wounded in the back, and thus to 
provoke a duel, which he did, and at my suggestion 
" Uncle Bibbins " challenged Benton to fight him with 
musket and ball at a distance of twenty yards. The 
challenge was accepted, I was chosen second by " Uncle 
Bibbins," and the duel was to come off immediately. 



46 INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 

* 

My principal, taking me aside, begged me to put noth 
ing in the guns but blank cartridges. I assured hitn it 
should be so, and therefore that he. might feel perfectly 
safe. This gave the old man extra courage ; he 
declared that he had not been so long in bloody battles 
" for nothing," and that he would put a bullet through 
Benton s heart at the first shot. 

The ground was measured in the lot at the rear 
of our store, and the principals and seconds took their 
places. At the word given both parties fired. " Uncle 
Bibbins," of course, escaped unhurt, but Benton leaped 
several feet into the air, and fell upon the ground with 
a dreadful yell, as if he had been really shot. " Uncle 
Bibbins" was frightened. As his second, I ran to 
him, told him I had neglected to extract the bullet from 
his gun (which was literally true, as there was no 
bullet in it to extract), and he supposed, of course, he 
had killed his adversary. I then whispered to him to 
go immediately to Guilford, to keep quiet, and he should 
hear from me as soon as it would be safe to do so. He 
started up the street on a run, and immediately quit the 
town for Guilford, where he kept himself quiet until it 
was time for him to return and sign his papers. I then 
wrote him that " he could return in safety ; that his 
adversary had recovered from his wound, and now for 
gave him all, as he felt himself much to blame for 
having insulted a man of his known courage." 

" Uncle Bibbins " returned, signed the papers, and 
we obtained the pension money. A few days thereafter 
he met Benton. 

" My brave old friend," said Benton, " I forgive you 
my terrible wound and long confinement on the brink 
of the grave, and I beg you to forgive me also. I 
insulted you without a cause." 



INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES. 47 

" I forgive you freely," said " Uncle Bibbins " : 
" but," he added, " you must be careful next time how 
you insult a dead shot." 

Benton promised to be more circumspect in future, 
and " Uncle Bibbins " supposed to the day of his death 
that the duel, wound, danger, and all, were matters of 
fact. 



dfj^Jjij $ift gjj jo 



.asToaorifcA OTTA ww.ws 



CHAPTEE III. 

IN BUSINESS FOE MYSELF. 

MY CLERKSHIP IN BROOKLYN UNEASINESS AND DISSATISFACTION THE SMALL 
POX GOING HOME TO RECRUIT "CHAIRY" HALLETT AGAIN BACK TO 
BROOKLYN OPENING A PORTER-HOUSE SELLING OUT MY CLERKSHIP IN 
NEW YORK MY HABITS OBSERVANCE OF SUNDAY IN BETHEL ONCE 
MORE BEGINNING BUSINESS ON MY OWN ACCOUNT OPENING DAY LARGE 
SALES AND GREAT PROFITS THE LOTTERY BUSINESS VIEWS THEREON 
ABOUT A POCKET-BOOK WITS AND WAGS SWEARING OUT A FINE FIRST 
APPEARANCE AT THE BAR SECURING "ARABIAN" A MODEL LOVE-LETTER. 

MR. OLIVER TAYLOR removed from Danbury to 
Brooklyn, Long Island, where he kept a grocery store 
and also had a large comb factory and a comb store in 
New York. In the fall of 1826 he offered me a situa 
tion as clerk in his Brooklyn store, and I accepted it. I 
soon became conversant with the routine of my em 
ployer s business and before long he entrusted to me the 
purchasing of all goods for his store. I bought for cash 
entirely, going into the lower part of New York City 
in search of the cheapest market for groceries, often 
attending auctions of teas, sugars, molasses, etc., watch 
ing the sales, noting prices and buyers, and frequently 
combining with other grocers to bid off large lots, which 
we subsequently divided, giving each of us the quantity 
wanted at a lower rate than if the goods had passed 
into other hands, compelling us to pay another profit. 

Situated as I was, and well treated as I was by my 
employer, who manifested great interest in me, still I 
was dissatisfied. A salary was not sufficient for me. 
My disposition was of that speculative character which 



EST BUSINESS FOR MYSELF. 49 

refused to be satisfied unless I was engaged in some 
business where my profits might be enhanced, or, at 
least, made to depend upon my energy, perseverance, 
attention to business, tact, and " calculation." Accord 
ingly, as I had no opportunity to speculate on my own 
account, I became uneasy, and, young as I was, I 
began to talk of setting up for myself ; for, although I 
had no capital, several men of means had offered to fur 
nish the money and join me in business. I was in that 
uneasy, transitory state between boyhood and manhood 
when I had unbounded confidence in my own abilities, 
and yet needed a discreet counsellor, adviser and friend. 

In the following summer, 1827, I wa^ 1 taken down 
with the small-pox and was confined to the house for 
several months. This sickness made a sad inroad upon 
my means. When I was sufficiently recovered, I started 
for home to recruit, taking passage on board a sloop for 
Norwalk, but the remaining passengers were so fright 
ened at the appearance of my face, which still bore the 
marks of the disease, that I was obliged to go ashore 
again, which I did, stopping at Holt s, in Fulton Street, 
going to Norwalk by steamboat next morning, and 
arriving at Bethel in the afternoon. 

During my convalescence at my mother s house, I 
visited my old friends and neighbors and had the oppor 
tunity to slightly renew my acquaintance with the 
attractive tailoress, " Chairy " Hallett. A month after 
wards, I returned to Brooklyn, where I gave Mr. Taylor 
notice of my desire to leave his employment ; and I then 
opened a porter-house on my own account. In a few 
months I sold out to good advantage and accepted a 
favorable offer to engage as clerk in a similar estab 
lishment, kept by Mr. David Thorp, 29 Peck Slip, 



50 IN BUSINESS FOB MYSELF. 

New York. It was a great resort for Danbury and 
Bethel comb makers and hatters and I thus had frequent 
opportunities of seeing and hearing from my fellow- 
townsmen. I lived in Mr. Thorp s family and was 
kindly treated. I was often permitted to visit the 
theatre with friends who came to New York, and, as I 
had considerable taste for the drama, I soon became, in 
my own opinion, a discriminating critic nor did I fail 
to exhibit my powers to my Connecticut friends who 
accompanied me to the play. Let me gratefully add 
that my habits were not bad. Though I sold liquors to 
others, I do not think I ever drank a pint of liquor, 
wine, or cordials before I was twenty-two years of age. 
I always had a Bible, which I frequently read, and I 
attended church regularly. These habits, so far as they 
go, are in the right direction, and I am thankful to-day 
that they characterized my early youth. However 
worthy or unworthy may have been my later years, I 
know that I owe much of the better part of my nature 
to my youthful regard for Sunday and its institutions 
a regard, I trust, still strong in my character. 

In February, 1828, I returned to Bethel and opened a 
retail fruit and confectionery store in a part of my grand 
father s carriage-house, which was situated on the main 
street, and which was offered to me rent free if I would 
return to my native village and establish some sort of 
business. This beginning of business on my own 
account was an eventful era in my life. My total capi 
tal was one hundred and twenty dollars, fifty of which 
I had expended in fitting up the store, and the remain 
ing seventy dollars purchased my stock in trade. I had 
arranged with fruit dealers whom I knew in New York, 
to receive my orders, and I decided to open my estab- 



IN BUSINESS FOB MYSELF. 51 



lishment on the first Monday in May our " general 
training " day. 

It was a " red letter " day for me. The village was 
crowded with people from the surrounding region and 
the novelty of my little shop attracted attention. Long 
before noon I was obliged to call in " one of. my old 
schoolmates to assist in waiting upon my numerous cus 
tomers and when I closed at night I had the satisfaction 
of reckoning up sixty-three dollars as my day s receipts. 
Nor, although I had received the entire cost of my 
goods, less seven dollars, did the stock seem seriously 
diminished ; showing that my profits had been large. I 
need not say how much gratified I "was with the result 
of this first day s experiment. The store was a fixed 
fact. I went to New York and expended all my money 
in a stock of fancy goods, such as pocket-books, combs, 
beads, rings, pocket-knives, and a few toys. These, 
with fruit, nuts, etc., made the business good through 
the summer, and in the fall I added stewed oysters to 
the inducements. 

My grandfather, who was much interested in my suc 
cess, advised me to take an agency for the sale of lottery 
tickets, on commission. In those days, the lottery was 
not deemed objectionable on the score of morality. 
Very worthy people invested in such schemes without a 
thought of evil, and then, as now, churches even got 
up lotteries, with this difference that then they were 
called lotteries, and now they go under some other 
name. While I am very glad that an improved public 
sentiment denounces the lottery in general as an illegit 
imate means of getting money, and while I do not see 
how any one, especially in or near a New England 
State, can engage in a lottery without feeling a reproach 



52 IN BUSINESS FOR MYSELF. 

which no pecuniary return can compensate ; yet I can 
not now accuse myself for having been lured into a 
business which was then sanctioned by good Christian 
people, who now join with me in reprobating enter 
prises they once encouraged. But as public senti 
ment was forty years ago, I obtained an agency to sell 
lottery tickets on a commission of ten per cent, and this 
business, in connection with my little store, made my 
profits quite satisfactory. 

I used to have some curious customers. On one occa 
sion a young man called on me and selected a pocket- 
book which pleased him, asking me to give him credit 
for a few weeks. I told him that if he wanted any 
article of necessity in my line, I should not object to 
trust him for a short time, but it struck me that a 
pocket-book was a decided superfluity for a man who 
had no money ; I therefore declined to trust him as I 
did not see the necessity for his possessing such an 
article till he had something to put into it. Later in 
life I have been credited with the utterance of some 
sagacious remarks, but this with regard to the pocket- 
book, trivial as the matter is in itself, seems to me quite 
as deserving of note as any of my ideas which have 
created more sensation. 

My store had much to do in giving shape to my 
future character as well as career, in that it became a 
favorite resort; the theatre of village talk, and the 
scene of many practical jokes. For any excess of the 
jocose element in my character, part of the blame 
must attach to my early surroundings as a village clerk 
and merchant. In that true resort of village wits 
and wags, the country store, fun, pure and simple, 
will be sure to find the surface. My Bethel store 



IN BUSINESS FOK MYSELF. 53 

was the "scene of many most amusing incidents, in 
some of which I was an immediate participant, 
though in many, of course, I was only a listener or 
spectator. 

The following scene makes a chapter in the history 
of Connecticut, as the State was when " blue-laws " 
were something more than a dead letter. To swear in 
those days was according to custom, but contrary to 
law. A person from New York State, whom I will call 
Crofut, who was a frequent visitor at my store, was 
a man of property, and equally noted for his self-will 
and his really terrible profanity. One day he was 
in my little establishment engaged in conversation, 
when Nathan Seelye, Esq., one of our village justices 
of the peace, and a man of strict religious principles, 
came in, and hearing Crofut s profane language he told 
him he considered it his duty to fine him one dollar for 
swearing. 

Crofut responded immediately with an oath, that he 
did not care a d n for the Connecticut blue-laws. 

" That will make two dollars," said Mr. Seelye. 

This brought forth another oath. 

46 Three dollars," said the sturdy justice. 

Nothing but oaths were given in reply, until Esquire 
Seelye declared the damage to the Connecticut laws to 
amount to fifteen dollars. 

Crofut took out a twenty-dollar bill, and handed it to 
the justice of the peace, with an oath. 

" Sixteen dollars," said Mr. Seelye, counting out four 
dollars to hand to Mr. Crofut, as his change. 

" Oh, keep it, keep it," said Crofut, " 1 do n t want 
any change, I 11 d d soon swear out the balance." He 
did so, after which he was more circumspect in his 



54 IN BUSINESS FOK MYSELF. 

conversation, remarking that twenty dollars a day for 
swearing was about as much as he could stand. 

On another . occasion, a man arrested for assault and 
battery was to be tried before my grandfather, who was 
a justice of the peace. A young medical student named 
Newton, volunteered to defend the prisoner, and Mr. 
Couch, the grand-juryman, came to me and said that 
as the prisoner had engaged a pettifogger, the State 
ought to have some one to represent its interests and 
he would give me a dollar to present the case. I 
accepted the fee and proposition. The fame of the 
" eminent counsel " on both sides drew quite a crowd 
to hear the case. As for the case itself, it was useless 
to argue it, for the guilt of the prisoner was established 
by evidence of half a dozen witnesses. However, New 
ton was bound to display himself, and so, rising with 
much dignity, he addressed my grandfather with, " May 
it please the honorable court," etc., proceeding with a 
mixture of poetry and invective against Couch, the 
grand-juryman whom he assumed to ~be the vindictive 
plaintiff in this case. After alluding to him as such 
for the twentieth time, my grandfather stopped Newton 
in the midst of his splendid peroration and informed 
him that Mr. Couch was not the plaintiff in the case. 

" Not the plaintiff! Then may it please your honor 
I should like to know who is the plaintiff?" inquired 
Newton. 

He was quietly informed that the State of Connecti 
cut was the plaintiff, whereupon Newton dropped into 
his seat as if he had been shot. Thereupon, I rose 
with great confidence, and speaking from my notes, 
proceeded to show the guilt of the prisoner from the 
evidence; that there was no discrepancy in the testi- 



IK BUSINESS FOR MYSELF: 55 

mony ; that none of the witnesses had been impeached; 
that no defence had been offered ; that I was astonished 
at the audacity of both counsel and prisoner in not 
pleading guilty at once ; and then, soaring aloft on gen 
eral principles, I began to look about for a safe place 
to alight, when my grandfather interrupted me with 

" Young man, will you have the kindness to inform 
the court which side you are pleading for the plaintiff 
or the defendant?" 

It was my turn to drop, which I did amid a shout of 
laughter from every corner of the court-room. Newton, 
who had been very downcast, looked up with a broad 
grin and the two " eminent counsel " sneaked out of 
the room in company, while the prisoner was bound 
over to the next County Court for trial. 

While my business in Bethel continued to increase 
beyond my expectations, I was also happy in believing 
that my suit with the fair tailoress, Charity Hallett, was 
duly progressing. Of all the young people with whom 
I associated in oar parties, picnics, and sleigh-rides, she 
stood highest in my estimation and continued to im 
prove upon acquaintance. 

How I managed at one of our sleigh rides is worth 
narrating. My grandfather would, at any time, let me 
have a horse and sleigh, always excepting his new 
sleigh, the finest in the village, and a favorite horse 
called " Arabian." I especially coveted this turnout for 
one of our parties, knowing that I could eclipse all my 
comrades, and so I asked grandfather if I could have 
" Arabian " and the new sleigh. 

" Yes, if you have twenty dollars in your pocket," 
was the reply, ai" 

I immediately showed the money, and, putting it 



56 IN BUSINESS FOR MYSELF. 

back in my pocket, said with a laugh : " you see I have 
the money. I am much obliged to you ; I suppose I 
can have Arab and the new sleigh I " 

Of course, he meant to deny me by making what he 
thought to be an impossible condition, to wit: that I 
should hire the team, at a good round price, if I had 
it at all, but I had caught him so suddenly that he was 
compelled to consent, and " Chairy " and I had the crack 
team of the party. 

There was a young apprentice to the tailoring trade 
in Bethel, whom I will call John Mallett, whose educa 
tion had been much neglected, and who had been pay 
ing his addresses to a certain " Lucretia " for some six 
months, with a strong probability of being jilted at last. 
On a Sunday evening she had declined to take his arm, 
accepting instead the arm of the next man who offered, 
and Mallett determined to demand an explanation. He 
accordingly came to me the Saturday evening following, 
asking me, when I had closed my store, to write a strong 
and remonstratory " love-letter " for him. I asked Bill 
Shepard, who was present, to remain and assist, and, in 
due time, the joint efforts of Shepard, Mallett, and 
myself resulted in the following production. I give the 
letter as an illustrative chapter in real life. In novels 
such correspondence is usually presented in elaborate 
rhetoric, with studied elegance of phrase. But the true 
language of the heart is always nearly the same in all 
time and in all tongues, and when the blood is up the 
writer is far more intent upon the matter than the 
manner, and aims to be forcible rather than elegant. 
The subjoined letter is certainly not after the manner of 
Chesterfield, but it is such a letter as a disappointed 
lover, spurred by 

The green-eyed monster, which doth mock 
The meat it feeds on, 



IK BUSINESS FOR MYSELF. 57 

frequently indites. With a demand from Mallett that 
we should begin in strong terms, and Shepard acting 
as scribe, we concocted the following : 

BETHEL, , 18 . 

Miss LUCRETIA, I write this to ask an explanation of your conduct in giving 
me the mitten on Sunday night last. If you think, madam, that you can trifle 
with my affections, and turn me off for every little whipper-snapper that you can 
pick up, you will find yourself considerably mistaken. [We read thus far to 
Mallett, and it met his approval. He said he liked the idea of calling her 
"madam," for he thought it sounded so "distant," it would hurt her feelings 
very much. The term "little whipper-snapper" also delighted him. He said 
he guessed that would make her feel cheap. Shepard and myself were not quite 
so sure of its aptitude, since the chap who succeeded in capturing Lucretia, on 
the occasion alluded to, was a head and shoulders taller than Mallett. However, 
we did not intimate our thoughts to Mallett, and he desired us to "go ahead and 
give her another dose."] You do n t know me, madam, if you think you can snap 
me up in this way. I wish you to understand that I can have the company of 
girls as much above you as the sun is above the earth, and I won t stand any 
of your impudent nonsense no how. [This was duly read and approved. "Now," 
said Mallett, "try to touch her feelings. Remind her of the pleasant hours we 
have spent together " ; and we continued as follows : ] My dear Lucretia, when I 
think of the many pleasant hours we have spent together of the delightful walks 
which we have had on moonlight evenings to Feuner s Rocks, Chestnut Ridge, 
Grassy Plains, Wildcat, and Puppy-town of the strolls which we have taken 
upon Shelter Rocks, Cedar Hill the visits we have made to Old Lane, Wolfpits, 
Toad-hole and Plum-trees* when all these things come rushing on my mind, 
and when, my dear girl, I remember how often you have told me that you loved 
me better than anybody else, and I assured you my feelings were the same as 
yours, it almost breaks my heart to think of last Sunday night. ["Can t you 
stick in some affecting poetry here?" said Mallett. Shepard could not recollect 
any to the point, nor could I, but as the exigency of the case seemed to require it, 
we concluded to manufacture a verse or two, which we did as follows :] 

Lucretia, dear, what have I done, 

That you should use me thus and BO, 
To take the arm of Tom Beers son, 

And let your dearest true-love go ? 
Miserable fate, to lose you now, 

And tear this bleeding heart asunder I 
\ Will you forget your tender vow ? 

I can t believe it no, by thunder I 

[Mallett did not like the word " thunder," but being informed that no other 
word could be substituted without destroying both rhyme and reason, he 
consented that it should remain, provided we added two more stanzas of a softer 
nature ; something, he said, that would make the tears come, if possible. We then 
ground out the following:] 

Lucretia, dear, do write to Jack, 

And say with Beers you are not smitten ; 
And thus to me in love come back, 

And give all other boys the mitten. 

*_ These were the euphonious names of localities iu the vicinity of Bethel. 



58 IK BUSINESS FOR MYSELF 

Do this, Lucrotia, and till death 

I 11 love yon to intense distractibn ; 
I ll spend for you my every breath, 

And we will live in satisfaction. 

[" That will do very well," said Mallett. " Now I guess you had better blow 
her up a little more." We obeyed orders as follows:] It makes me mad 
to think what a fool I was to give you that finger-ring and bosom-pin, and spend 
so much time in your company, just to be flirted and bamboozled as I was 
on Sunday night last. If you continue this course of conduct, we part for ever, 
and I will thank you to send back that jewelry. I would sooner see it crushed 
under my feet than worn by a person who abused me as you have done. 1 shall 
despise j r ou for ever if you don t change your conduct towards me, and send me a 
letter of apology on Monday next. I shall not go to meeting to-morrow, for I 
would scorn to sit in the same meeting-house with you until I have an explana 
tion of your conduct. If you allow any young man to go home with you 
to-morrow night, I shall know it, for you will be watched. ["There," said 
Mallett, " that is pretty strong. Now I guess you had better touch her feelings 
once more, and wind up the letter." We proceeded as follows:] My sweet girl, if 
you only knew the sleepless nights which I have spent during the present week, 
the torments and sufferings which I endure on your account; if you could but 
realize that I regard the \vorld as less than nothing without you, I am certain 
you would pity me. A homely cot and a crust of bread with my adorable 
Lucretia would be a paradise, where a palace without you would be a hades. 
["What in thunder is hades?" inquired Jack. We explained. He considered 
the figure rather bold, and requested us to close as soon as possible.] Now, dear 
est, in bidding you adieu, I implore you to reflect on our past enjoyments, look 
forward with pleasiire to our future happy meetings, and rely upon your 
affectionate Jack in storm or calm, in sickness, distress, or want, for all these 
will be powerless to change my love. I hope to hear from you on Monday next, 
and, if favorable, I shall be happy to call on you the same evening, when in 
ecstatic joy wo will laugh at the past, hope for the future, and draw consolation 
from the fact that "the coairse of true love never did run smooth." This from 
your disconsolate but still hoping lover and admirer, JACK MALLETT, 

P. S. On reflection I have concluded to go to meeting to-morrow. If all is 
well, hold your pocket-handkerchief in your left hand as you stand up to sing 
with the choir in which case I shall expect the pleasure of giving you my arm 
to-morrow night. J. M. 

The effect of this letter upon Lucretia, I regret to 
say, was not as favorable as could have been desired or 
expected. She declined to remove her handkerchief 
from her right hand. and she returned the "ring and 
bosom-pin " to her disconsolate admirer, while, not many 
months after, Mallett s rival led Lucretia to the altar. 
As for Mallett s agreement to pay Shepard and myself 
five pounds of carpet rags and twelve yards of broad 
cloth " lists," for our services, owing to his ill success, 
we compromised for one-half the amount. 



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CHAPTER IV. ,^. 

J^ * rriii 5 : iiiil ^Mvit- /lrT^wT 

STRUGGLES FOB A LIVELIHOOD. 

Lrjiinoa // iiitf -mo n; b lbtffo/ri ^jiw^RWiioid mo gu I:i.rn 

PLEASURE VISIT TO PHILADELPHIA LIVING IN GRAND STYLE THE BOTTOM 
OF THE PILE BORROWING MONEY MY MARRIAGE RETURN TO BETHEL 
EAKLY MARRIAGES MORE PRACTICAL JOKING SECOND APPEARANCE AS 
COUNSEL GOING TO HOUSEKEEPING SELLING BOOKS AT AUCTION THE 

"YELLOW STORE" A NEW FIELD "THE HERALD OF FREEDOM" MY 

EDITORIAL CAREEU LIBKL SUITS FINED AND IMPRISONED LIFE IN THE 
DANBURY JAIL CELEBRATION OF MY LIBERATION POOR BUSINESS AND 
BAD DEBTS REMOVAL TO NEW YORK - SEEKING MY FORTUNE " WANTS , 
IN THE "SUN" WM. NIBLO KEEPING A BOARDING-HOUSE A WHOLE 
SHIRT ON MY BACK. 

-\ * f k *t r f f 

DURING this season I made arrangements with Mr. 
Samuel Sherwood, of Bridgeport, to go on an exploring 
expedition to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where we under 
stood there was a fine opening for a lottery office and 
where we meant to try our fortunes, provided the pros 
pects should equal our expectations. We went to New 
York where I had an interview with Mr. Dudley S. 
Gregory, the principal business man of Messrs. Yates 
and Mclntyre, who dissuaded me from going to Pitts- 
burg, and offered me the entire lottery agency for the 
State of Tennessee, if I would go to Nashville and open 
an office, The offer was tempting, but the distance 
was too far from a certain tailoress in Bethel. 

As the Pittsburg trip was given up, Sherwood and I 
went to Philadelphia for a pleasure excursion and put 
up at Congress Hall in Chestnut Street where we lived 
in much grander style than we had been accustomed to. 
The array of waiters and display of dishes were far 



60 STRUGGLES FOR A LIVELIHOOD. 

ahead of our former experiences and for a week we lived 
in clover. At the end of that time, however, when we 
concluded to start for home, the amount of our hotel 
bill astounded us. After paying it and securing tickets 
for New York, our combined purses showed a balance 
of but twenty-seven cents. 

Twenty-five cents of this sum went to the boot-black, 
and as our breakfast was included in our bill we secured 
from the table a few biscuits for our dinner on the way 
to New York. 

Arriving in New York we carried our own baggage 
to Holt s Hotel. The next morning Sherwood obtained a 
couple of dollars from a friend, and went to Newark and 
borrowed fifty dollars from his cousin, Dr. Sherwood, 
loaning me one-half the sum. After a few days sojourn 
in the city we returned home. 

During our stay in New York, I derived considerable 
information from the city managers with regard to the 
lottery business, and thereafter I bought my tickets 
directly from the Connecticut lottery managers at what 
was termed " the scheme price," and also established 
agencies throughout the country, selling considerable 
quantities of tickets at handsome profits. My uncle, 
Alanson Taylor, joined me in the business, and, as we 
sold several prizes, my office came to be considered 
;t lucky," and I received orders from all parts of the 
country. 

During this time I kept a close eye upon the attract 
ive tailoress, Charity Halle tt, and in the summer of 
1829 I asked her hand in marriage. My suit was 
accepted, and the wedding day was appointed ; I, mean 
while, applying myself closely to business, and no one 
but the parties immediately interested suspecting that 



STRUGGLES FOE A LIVELIHOOD. 61 

the event was so near at hand. Miss Hallett went to 
New York in October, ostensibly to visit her uncle, 
Nathan Beers, who resided at No. 3 Allen Street. I 
followed in November, pressed by the necessity of pur 
chasing goods for my store ; and the evening after my 
arrival, November 8, 1829, the Rev. Dr. McAuley 
married us in the presence of sundry friends and rela 
tives of my wife, and I became the husband of one of 
the best women in the world. In the course of the 
week we went back to Bethel and took board in the 
family where Charity Barnum as " Chairy" Hallett had 
previously resided. 

I do not approve or recommend early marriages. 
The minds of men and women taking so important a 
step in life should be somewhat matured, and hasty 
marriages, especially marriages of boys and girls, have 
been the cause of untold misery in many instances. But 
although I was only little more than nineteen years old 
when I was married, I have always felt assured that if I 
had waited twenty years longer I could not have found 
another woman so well suited to my disposition and so 
admirable and valuable in every character as a wife, a 
mother, and a friend. 

My business occupations amply employed nearly all 
my time, yet so strong was my love of fun that when 
the opporunity for a practical joke presented itself, I 
could not resist the temptation. On one occasion I ^ 
engaged in the character of counsel to conduct a case 
for an Irish peddler whose complaint was that one of 
our neighbors had turned him out of his house and 
had otherwise abused him. 

The court was just as "real" as the attorney, no 
more, and consisted of three judges, one a mason, 



62 STRUGGLES FOR A LIVELIHOOD. 

the second a butcher, and the third an old gentleman of 
leisure who was an ex-justice of the peace. The consta 
ble was of my own appointment, and my "writ" 
arrested the culprit who had turned my client out of 
house and home. The court was convened, but as the 
culprit did not appear, and as it seemed necessary that 
my client should get testimonials as to his personal 
character, the court adjourned nominally for one week, 
the client consenting to " stand treat " to cover imme 
diate expenses. 

I supposed that this was the end of it. But at 
the time named for the re-assembling of the " court," 
a real lawyer from Newtown put in an appearance. 
He had been engaged by the Irishman to assist me in 
conducting the case ! I saw at once that the joke was 
likely to prove a sorry one, and immediately notified the 
members of the " court," who were quite as much 
alarmed as I was at the serious turn the thing had 
taken. I need not say that while the danger threatened 
we all took precious good care to keep out of the way. 
However, the affair was explained to Mr. Belden, the 
lawyer, who in turn set forth the matter to the client, 
but not in such a manner as to soothe the anger so 
natural under the circumstances in fact, he advised 
the Irishman to get out of the place as soon as possible. 
The Irishman threatened me and my " court " with 
prosecution a threat I really feared he would carry 
into execution, but which, to the great peace of mind 
of myself and my companions, he concluded not to 
follow up. Considering the vexation and annoyance of 
this Irishman, it was a mitigation to know that he was 
the party in the wrong and that he really deserved 
a severer punishment than my practical joke had put 
upon him. 



STRUGGLES FOR A LIVELIHOOD. 63 

In the winter of 1829-30, my lottery business had so 
extended that I had branch offices in Danbury, Nor- 
walk, Stamford and Middletown, as well as agencies 
in the small villages for thirty miles around Bethel. 
I had also purchased from my grandfather three 
acres of land on which I built a house and went to 
housekeeping. My lottery business, which was with 
a few large customers, was so arranged that I could 
safely entrust it to an agent, making it necessary 
for me to find some other field for my individual 
enterprise. 

So I tried my hand as an auctioneer in the book 
trade. I bought books at the auctions and from dealers 
and publishers in New York, and took them into the 
country, selling them at auction and doing tolerably 
well ; only at Litchfield, Connecticut, where there was 
then a law school. At Newburgh, New York, several 
of my best books were stolen, and I quit the business 
in disgust. 

In July, 1831, my uncle, Alanson Taylor, and myself 
opened a country store, in a building, which I had put 
up in Bethel in the previous spring, and we stocked the 
" yellow store," as it was called, with a full assortment 
of groceries, hardware, crockery, and " notions " ; but 
we were not successful in the enterprise, and in 
October following, I bought out my uncle s interest and 
we dissolved partnership. 

About this time, circumstances partly religious and 
partly political in their character led me into still 
another field of enterprise which honorably opened to 
me that notoriety of which in later life I surely have 
had a surfeit. Considering my youth, this new enter 
prise reflected credit upon my ability, as well as energy. 



64 STRUGGLES FOB A LIVELIHOOD. 

and so I may be excused if I now recur to it with some 
thing like pride. 

In a period of strong political excitement, I wrote 
several communications for the Danbury weekly paper, 
setting forth what I conceived to be the dangers of 
a sectarian interference which was then apparent in 
political affairs. The publication of these communica 
tions was refused and I accordingly purchased a press 
and types, and October 19, 1831, I issued the first 
number of my own paper, The Herald of Freedom. 

I entered upon the editorship of this journal with all 
the vigor and vehemence of youth. The boldness 
with which the paper was conducted soon excited wide 
spread attention and commanded a circulation which 
extended beyond the immediate locality into nearly 
every State in the Union. But lacking that experience 
which induces caution, and without the dread of conse 
quences, I frequently laid myself open to the charge of 
libel and three times in three years I was prosecuted. 
A Danbury butcher, a zealous politician, brought a civil 
suit against me for accusing him of being a spy in 
a Democratic caucus. On the first trial the jury did 
not agree, but after a second trial I was fined several 
hundred dollars. Another libel suit against me was 
withdrawn and need not be mentioned further. The 
third was sufficiently important to warrant the follow 
ing detail : v 

A criminal prosecution was brought against me for 
stating in my paper that a man in Bethel, prominent in 
the church, had " been guilty of taking usury of an 
orphan boy," and for severely commenting on the fact 
in my editorial columns. When the case came to trial 
the truth of my statement was substantially proved by 



STRUGGLES FOB A LIVELIHOOD. 65 

several witnesses and even by the prosecuting party. 
But " the greater the truth, the greater the libel," and 
then I had used the term " usury," instead of extortion, 
or note-shaving, or some other expression which might 
have softened the verdict. The result was that I was 
sentenced to pay a fine of one hundred dollars and 
to be imprisoned in the common jail for sixty days. 

The most comfortable provision was made for me in 
Danbury jail. My room was papered and carpeted ; I 
lived well ; I was overwhelmed with the constant visits 
of my friends ; I edited my paper as usual and received 
large accessions to my subscription list ; and at the 
end of my sixty days term the event was celebrated by a 
large concourse of people from the surrounding country. 
The court room in which I was convicted was the scene 
of the celebration. An ode, written for the occasion, 
was sung ; an eloquent oration on the freedom of the 
press was delivered ; and several hundred gentlemen 
afterwards partook of a sumptuous dinner followed 
by appropriate toasts and speeches. Then came 
the triumphant part of the ceremonial, which was 
reported in my paper of December 12, 1832, as 
follows : 



"P. T. BARNUM and the band of music took their seats in a coach drawn t>y 
six horses, which had been prepared for the occasion. The coach was preceded 
by forty horsemen, and a marshal, bearing the national standard. Immediately 
in the rear of the coach was the carriage of the Orator and the President of the 
day, followed by the Committee of Arrangements and sixty .carriages of citizens, 
which joined in escorting the editor to his home in Bethel. 

"When the procession commenced its march amidst the roar of cannon, three 
cheers were given by several hundred citizens who did not join in the procession. 
The band of music continued to play a variety of national airs until their arrival 
in Bethel, (a distance of three miles,) when they struck up the beautiful and 
appropriate tune of Home, Sweet Home! After giving three hearty cheers, the 
procession returned to Danbury. The utmost harmony and unanimity of feeling 
prevailed throughout the day, and we are happy to add that no accident occurred 
to mar the festivities of the occasion." 



66 STRUGGLES FOR A LIVELIHOOD. 

My editorial career was one of continual contest. I 
however published the 160th number of The Herald of 
Freedom in Danbury. November 5, 1834, after which my 
brother-in-law, John W. Amerman, issued the paper for 
me at Norwalk till the following year, when the 
Herald was sold to Mr. George Taylor. 

Meanwhile, I had taken Horace Fairchild into partner 
ship in my mercantile business, in 1831, and I had sold 
out to him and to a Mr. Toucey, in 1833, they forming a 
partnership under the firm of Fairchild & Co. So far 
as I was concerned my store was not a success. Ordi 
nary trade was too slow for me. I bought largely and in 
order to sell I was compelled to give extensive credits. 
Hence I had an accumulation of bad debts ; and my old 
ledger presents a long series of accounts balanced by 
" death," by " running away," by " failing," and by 
other similarly remunerative returns. I had expended 
money as freely as I had gained it, for I had already 
learned that I could make money rapidly and in large 
sums, when I set about it with a will, and hence I did 
not realize the worth of what I seemed to gain so 
readily. I looked forward to a future of saving when I 
should see the need of accumulation. 

There was nothing more for me to do in Bethel ; and 
in the winter of 1834-5, I removed my family to New 
York, where I hired a house in Hudson Street. I had no 
pecuniary resources, excepting such as might be derived 
from debts left for collection with my agent at Bethel, 
and I went to the metropolis literally to seek my for 
tune. I hoped to secure a situation in some mercantile 
house, not at a fixed salary, but so as to derive such 
portion of the profits as might be due to my individual 
tact, energy, and perseverance in the interests of the 



STRUGGLES FOK A LIVELIHOOD. 67 

business. But I could find no such position; my 
resources began to fail ; my family were in ill health ; I 
must do something for a living ; and so I acted as 
" drummer " to several concerns which allowed me a 
small commission on sales to customers of my introduc 
tion. 

Every morning I used to look at r the " wants " in the 
Sun for something that would suit me ; and I had many 
a wildgoose chase in following up those " wants." In 
some instances success depended upon my advancing 
from three hundred to five hundred dollars ; in other 
cases a new patent life-pill, or a self-acting mouse trap 
was to make my fortune. An advertisement announc 
ing " An immense speculation on a small capital ! 
$10,000 easily made in one year ! " turned out to be an 
offer of Professor Somebody at Scudder s American 
Museum to sell a hydro-oxygen microscope, offered to 
me at two thousand dollars one thousand in cash and 
the balance in sixty and ninety days, on good security, 
and warranted to secure an independence after a short 
public exhibition through the country. If I had the 
desire to undertake this exhibition and experiment, I 
had not the capital. Other and many similar tempta 
tions were extended, but none of them seemed to open 
the door of fortune to me. 

The advertisement in the Sun, of Mr. William Niblo, 
of Niblo s Garden, for a barkeeper first brought me in 
contact with that gentlemanly and justly-popular pro 
prietor. He wanted a well-recommended, well-behaved, 
trustworthy man to fill a vacant situation, but as he 
wished him to bind himself to remain three years, I, 
who was only seeking the means of temporary support, 
was precluded from accepting the position. 



68 STRUGGLES FOE A LIVELIHOOD. 

Nor did all my efforts secure a situation for me 
during the whole winter ; but, in the spring, I received 
several hundred dollars from my agent in Bethel, and 
finding no better business, May 1, 1835, I opened 
a small private boarding-house at No. 52 Frankfort 
Street. We soon had a very good run of custom from 
our Connecticut acquaintances who had occasion to 
visit New York, and as this business did not sufficiently 
occupy my time, I bought an interest with Mr. John 
Moody in a grocery store, No. 156 South Street. 

Although the years of manhood brought cares, 
anxieties, and struggles for a livelihood, they did not 
change my nature and the jocose element was still 
an essential ingredient of my being. I loved fun, 
practical fun, for itself and for the enjoyment which it 
brought. During the year, I occasionally visited 
Bridgeport where I almost always found at the hotel a 
noted joker, named Darrow, who spared neither friend 
nor foe in his tricks. He was the life of the bar-room 
and would always try to entrap some stranger in 
a bet and so win a treat for the company. He made 
several ineffectual attempts upon me, and at last, one 
evening, Darrow, who stuttered, made a final trial 
as follows : " Come, Barnum, I 11 make you another 
proposition ; I ll bet you hain t got a whole shirt 
on your back." The catch consists in the fact that 
generally only one-half of that convenient garment is 
on the back ; but I had anticipated the proposition 
in fact I had induced a friend, Mr. Hough, to put 
Darrow up to the trick, and had folded a shirt nicely 
upon my back, securing it there with my suspenders. 
The barroom was crowded with customers who thought 
that if I made the bet I should be nicely caught, and I 



STRUGGLES FOB A LIVELIHOOD. 69 

made pretence of playing off and at the same time 
stimulated Darrow to press the bet by saying : 

" That is a foolish bet to make ; I am sure my shirt 
is whole because it is nearly new ; but I do n t like to 
bet on such a subject." 

"A good reason why," said Darrow, in great glee;/ 
" it s ragged. Come, I ll bet you a treat for the whole 
company you hain t got a whole shirt on your b-b-b- 
back ! " 

" I ll bet my shirt is cleaner than yours," I replied. 

" That s nothing to do w-w-with the case ; it s ragged, 
and y-y-you know it." 

" I know it is not," I replied, with pretended anger, 
which caused the crowd to laugh heartily. 

"You poor ragged f-f-fellow, come down here from 
D-D-Danbury, I m sorry for you," said Darrow tantaliz- 
ingly. 

" You would not pay if you lost," I remarked. 

" Here s f-f-five dollars I ll put in Captain Hinman s 
(the landlord s) hands. Now b-b-bet if you dare, you 
ragged c-c-creature, you." 

I put five dollars in Captain Hinman s hands, and 
told him to treat the company from it if I lost the bet. 

" E-e member," said Darrow, " I b-b-bet you hain t got 
a whole shirt on your b-b-back ! " 

" All right," said I, taking off my coat and com 
mencing to unbutton my vest. The whole company, 
feeling sure that I was caught, began to laugh heartily. 
Old Darrow fairly danced with delight, and as I laid 
my coat on a chair he came running up in front of me, 
and slapping his hands together, exclaimed : 

" You need n t t-t-take off any more c-c-c-clothes, for 
if it ain t all on your b-b-back, you Ve lost it." 



70 STRUGGLES FOE A LIVELIHOOD. 

" If it is, I suppose you have ! " I replied, pulling 
the whole shirt from off my back ! 

Such a shriek of laughter as burst forth from the 
crowd I scarcely ever heard, and certainly such a blank 
countenance as old D arrow exhibited it would be hard 
to conceive. Seeing that he was most incontinently 
" done for," and perceiving that his neighbor Hough 
had helped to do it, he ran up to him in great anger, 
and shaking his fist in his face, exclaimed : 

" H-H-Hough, you infernal r-r-rascal, to go against 
your own n-n-neighbor in favor of a D-D-Danbury man. 
I ll pay you for that some time, you see if I d-d-do n t." 

All hands went up to the bar and drank with a 
hearty good will, for it was seldom that Darrow got 
taken in, and he was such an inveterate joker they liked 
to see him paid in his own coin. Never till the day 
of his death did he hear the last of the " whole 
shirt." 



Hew a^nitq 
) jHiw oa 



C H A P T E R V. 

j ;;, > ym?2 r j IW>)8 III SO JHU^a 10iI7(*>Josrte -. /*> 

MY STABT AS A SHOWMAN. 

THE AMUSEMENT BUSINESS DIFFERENT GRADES CATERING FOR THE PUBLIC 
MY CLAIMS, AIMS AND EFFORTS JOICE HETH APPARENT GENUINENESS OF 
HER VOUCHERS BEGINNING LIFE AS A SHOWMAN SUCCESS OF MY FIRST EX 
HIBITION SECOND STEP IN THE SHOW LINE SIGNOR VI VALLA MY FIRST 
APPEARANCE ON ANY STAGE AT WASHINGTON ANNE ROYALL STIMULAT 
ING THE PUBLIC CONTESTS BETWEEN VIVALLA AND ROBERTS EXCITEMENT 
AT FEVER HEAT CONNECTING MYSELF WITH A CIRCUS BREAD AND BUTTER 
DINNER FOR THE WHOLE COMPANY NARROW ESCAPE FROM SUFFOCATION 
LECTURING AN ABUSIVE CLERGYMAN AARON TURNER A TERRIBLE PRACTI 
CAL JOKE I AM REPRESENTED TO BE A MURDERER RAILS AND LYNCH LAW 
NOVEL MEANS FOR SECURING NOTORIETY. 

BY this time it was clear to my mind that my proper 
position in this busy world was not yet reached. I had 
displayed the faculty of getting money, as well as get 
ting rid of it ; but the business for which I was des 
tined, and, I believe, made, had not yet come to me; or 
rather, I had not found that I was to cater for that insa 
tiate want of human nature the love of amusement ; 
that I was to make a sensation on two continents ; and 
that fame and fortune awaited me so soon as I should 
appear before the public in the character of a showman. 
These things I had not foreseen. I did not seek the 
position or the character. The business finally came in 
my way ; I fell into the occupation, and far beyond any 
of my predecessors on this continent, I have succeeded. 

The shoW business has all phases and grades of dig 
nity, from the exhibition of a monkey to the exposition 
of that highest art in music or the drama, which en 
trances empires and secures for the gifted artist a 



72 MY STAKT AS A SHOWMAN. 

world- wide fame which princes well might envy. Such 
art is merchantable, and so with the whole range of 
amusements, from the highest to the lowest. The old 
word "trade" as it applies to buying cheap and selling 
at a profit, is as manifest here as it is in the dealings at 
a street-corner stand or in Stewart s store covering a 
whole square. This is a trading world, and men, women 
and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need 
something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and 
hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a busi 
ness established by the Author of our nature. If he 
worthily fulfils his mission, and amuses without corrupt 
ing, he need never feel that he has lived in vain. 

Whether I may claim a pre-eminence of grandeur in 
my career as a dispenser of entertainment for mankind, 
I may not say. I have sometimes been weak enough 
to think so, but let others judge ; and whether I may 
assume that on the whole, I have sought to make 
amusement harmless, and have succeeded to a very 
great degree, in eliminating from public entertainments 
certain corruptions which have made so many theatrical 
" sensations " positively shameful, may safely be left, I 
think, to the thousands upon thousands who have known 
me and the character of my amusement so long and so 
well. 

But I shall by no means claim entire faultlessness in 
my history as a showman. I confess that I have not 
always been strong enough to rise out of the exceptional 
ways which characterize the art of amusing not more, 
however, than any other art of trade. When, in begin 
ning business under my own name in Bethel, in 1831, 
I advertised that I would sell goods "25 per cent 
cheaper " than any of my neighbors, I was guilty of a 



MY START AS A SHOWMAN. 73 

trick of trade, but so common a trick, that very few 
who saw my promise were struck with a sense of any 
particular enormity therein, while, doubtless, a good 
many, who claim to be specially exemplary, thought they 
were reading one of their own advertisements. And 
in the show business I was never guilty of a greater sin 
than this against truthfulness and fair dealing. 

The least deserving of all my efforts in the show line 
was the one which introduced me to the business ; a 
scheme in no sense of my own devising ; one which 
had been sometime before the public and which had so 
many vouchers for its genuineness that at the time of 
taking possession of it I honestly believed it to be 
genuine ; something, too, which, as I have said, I did 
not seek, but which by accident came in my way and 
seemed almost to compel my agency such was the 
" Joice Heth " exhibition which first brought me for 
ward as a showman. 

In the summer of 1835, Mr. Coley Bartram, of Read 
ing, Connecticut, informed me that he had owned an 
interest in a remarkable negro woman whom he believed 
to be one hundred and sixty-one years old, and whom he 
also believed to have been the nurse of General Wash 
ington. He then showed me a copy of the following 
advertisement in the Pennsylvania Inquirer , of July 15, 

835 : ;ild"\ffo 

r .. 4 r.- fV r f rtfifv i~3 jj* *! - 

CFBIOSITY. The citizens of Philadelphia and its vicinity have an opportunity ot 
witnessing at the Masonic Hall, one of the greatest natural curiosities ever wit 
nessed, viz: JOICE HETH, a negress, aged 1G1 years, who formerly belonged to the 
father of General Washington. She has been a member of the Baptist Church 
one hundred and sixteen years, and can rehearse many hy~nns, and sing them 
according to former custom. She was born near the old Potomac Kiver in 
Virginia,. aivd has for ninety or one hundred j r ears lived in Paris, Kentucky, with 
the Bowling family. 

All who have seen this extraordinary woman are satisfied of the truth of the 
account of her age. The evidence of the Bowling family, which is respectable, is 



74 MY STABT AS A SHOWMAN. 

strong, but the original bill of sale of Augustine Washington, in his own handv 
writing, and other evidences which the proprietor has in his possession, will satisfy 
even the most incredulous. 

A lady will attend at the hall during the afternoon and evening for the accom 
modation of those ladies who may call. 

Mr. Bartram further stated that he had sold out his 
interest to his partner, R. W. Lindsay, of Jefferson 
County, Kentucky, who was then exhibiting Joice Heth 
in Philadelphia, but was anxious to sell out and 
go home the alleged reason being that he had very 
little tact as a showman. As the New York papers had 
also contained some account of Joice Heth, I went on 
to Philadelphia to see Mr. Lindsay and his exhibition. 

Joice Heth was certainly a remarkable curiosity, and 
she looked as if she might have been far older than 
her age as advertised. She was apparently in good 
health and spirits, but from age or disease, or both, 
was unable to change her position ; she could move 
one arm at will, but her lower limbs could not be 
straightened ; her left arm lay across her breast and she 
could not remove it ; the fingers of her left hand were 
drawn down so as nearly to close it, and were fixed ; the 
nails on that hand were almost four inches long 
and extended above her wrist ; the nails on her large 
toes had grown to the thickness of a quarter of an 
inch ; her head was covered with a thick bush of grey 
hair; but she was toothless and totally blind and 
her eyes had sunk so deeply in the sockets as to have 
disappeared altogether. 

Nevertheless she was pert and sociable, and would 
talk as long as people would converse with her. She 
was quite garrulous about her protege " dear little 
George," at whose birth she declared she was present, 
having been at the time a slave of Elizabeth Atwood, a 



MY START AS A SHOWMAN. 75 

half-sister of Augustine Washington, the father of 
George Washington. As nurse she put the first 
clothes on the infant and she claimed to have " raised 
him." She professed to be a member of the Baptist 
church, talking much in her way on religious subjects, 
and she sang a variety of ancient hymns. 

In proof of her extraordinary age and pretensions, 
Mr. Lindsay exhibited a bill of sale, dated February 5, 
1727, from Augustine Washington, County of West 
moreland, Virginia, to Elizabeth Atwood, a half-sister 
and neighbor of Mr. Washington, conveying " one 
negro woman, named Joice Heth, aged fifty-four years, 
for and in consideration of the sum of thirty- three 
pounds lawful money of Virginia." It was further 
claimed that as she had long been a nurse in the 
Washington family she was called in at the birth of 
George and clothed the new-born infant. The evi 
dence seemed authentic and in answer to the inquiry 
why so remarkable a discovery had not been made 
before, a satisfactory explanation was given in the 
statement that she had been carried from Virginia 
to Kentucky, had been on the plantation of John 
S. Bowling so long that no one knew or cared how old 
she was, and only recently the accidental discovery 
by Mr. Bowling s son of the old bill of sale in the 
Record Office in Virginia had led to the identification 
of this negro woman as " the nurse of Washington." 

Everything seemed so straightforward that I was 
anxious to become proprietor of this novel exhibition, 
which was offered to me at one thousand dollars, 
though the price first demanded was three thousand. I 
had five hundred dollars, borrowed five hundred dollars 
more, sold out my interest in the grocery business to my 



76 MY START AS A SHOWMAN. 

partner, and began life as a showman. At the outset 
of my career I saw that everything depended upon 
getting people to think, and talk, and become curious 
and excited over and about the " rare spectacle." 
Accordingly, posters, transparencies, advertisements, 
newspaper paragraphs all calculated to extort atten 
tion were employed, regardless of expense. My 
exhibition rooms in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, 
Albany and in other large and small cities, were 
continually thronged and much money was made. In 
the following February, Joice Ileth died, literally of old 
age, and her remains received a respectable burial in 
the town of Bethel. 

At a post-mortem examination of Joice Heth by Dr. 
David L. Rogers, in the presence of some medical 
students, it was thought that the absence of ossification 
indicated considerably less age than had been assumed 
for her; but the doctors disagreed, and this "dark 
subject" will probably always continue to be shrouded in 
mystery. 

I had at last found my true vocation. Indeed, 
soon after I began to exhibit Joice Heth, I had 
entrusted her to an agent and had entered upon 
my second step in the show line. The next venture, 
whatever it may have been in other respects, had the 
merit of being, in every essential, unmistakably 
genuine. I engaged from the Albany Museum an 
Italian who called himself " Signer Antonio " and who 
performed ccitain remarkable feats of balancing, stilt- 
walking, plate-spinning, etc. He had gone from 
England to Canada, and thence to Albany, and 
had performed in other American cities. I made terms 
with him for one year to exhibit anywhere in the 

. ! ) i/JOr. 



MY STAKT AS A SHOWMAN. 77 

United States at twelve dollars a week and expenses, 
and induced him to change his stage name to " Signor 
Vivalla." I then wrote a notice of his wonderful 
qualities and performances, printed it in one of the 
Albany papers as news, sent copies to the theatrical 
managers in New York and in other cities, and went 
with Vivalla to the metropolis. 

Manager William Dinneford, of the Franklin Theatre, 
had seen so many performances of the kind that he 
declined to engage my " eminent Italian artist" ; but I 
persuaded him to try Vivalla one night for nothing and 
by the potent aid of printer s ink the house was crammed. 
I appeared as a supernumerary to assist Vivalla in arrang 
ing his plates and other " properties " ; and to hand him 
his gun to fire while he was hopping on one stilt ten feet 
high. This was " my first appearance on any stage." 
The applause which followed Vivalla s feats was tremen 
dous, and Manager Dinneford was so delighted that he 
engaged him for the remainder of the week at fifty 
dollars. At the close of the performance, in response 
to a call from the house, I made a speech for Vivalla, 
thanking the audience for their appreciation and an 
nouncing a repetition of the exhibition every evening 
during the week. 

Vivalla remained a second week at the Franklin 
Theatre, for which I received $150. I realized the 
same sum for a week in Boston. We then went to 
Washington to fulfil an engagement which was far from 
successful, since my remuneration depended upon the 
receipts, and it snowed continually during the week. I 
was a loser to such an extent that I had not funds 
enough to return to Philadelphia. I pawned my watch 
and chain for thirty-five dollars, when fortunately 



78 MY STABT AS A SHOWMAN. 

Manager Wemyss arrived on Saturday morning and 
loaned me the money to redeem my property. 

As this was my first visit to Washington I was much 
interested in visiting the capitol and other public build 
ings. I also satisfied my curiosity in seeing Clay, Cal- 
houn, Benton, John Quincy Adams, Eichard M. Johnson, 
Polk, and other leading statesmen of the time. I was 
also greatly gratified in calling upon Anne Roy all, author 
of the Black Book, publisher of a little paper called 
" Paul Pry," and quite a celebrated personage in her 
day. I had exchanged The Herald of Freedom with her 
journal and she strongly sympathized with me in my 
persecutions. She was delighted to see me and although 
she was the most garrulous old woman I ever saw, I 
passed a very amusing and pleasant time with her. 
Before leaving her, I manifested my showman propen 
sity by trying to hire her to give a dozen or more lec 
tures on " Government," in the Atlantic cities, but I 
could not engage her at any price, although I am sure 
the speculation would have been a very profitable one. 
I never saw this eccentric woman again ; she died at a 
very advanced age, October 1, 1854, at her residence in 
Washington. 

I went with Vivalla to Philadelphia and opened at 
the Walnut Street Theatre. Though his performances 
were very meritorious and were well received, theatri 
cals were dull and houses were slim. It was evident 
that something must be done to stimulate the public. 

And now that instinct I think it must be which 
can arouse a community and make it patronize, pro 
vided the article offered is worthy of patronage an 
instinct which served me strangely in later years, aston 
ishing the public and surprising me, came to my relief, 



* MY STAKE AS A SHOWMAN. 79 

and the help, curiously enough, appeared in the shape 
of an emphatic hiss from the pit ! 

This hiss, I discovered, came from one Eoberts, a cir 
cus performer, and I had an interview with him. He 
was a professional balancer and juggler, who boasted 
that he could do all Vivalla had done and something more. 
1 at once published a card in Vivalla s name, offering 
$1000 to any one who would publicly perform Vi valla s 
feats at such place as should be designated, and Roberts 
issued a counter card, accepting the offer. I then con 
tracted with Mr. Warren, treasurer of the Walnut St. 
Theatre, for one-third of the proceeds, if I should 
kring the receipts up to $400 a night an agree 
ment he could well afford to make as his receipts the 
night before had been but seventy-five dollars. From 
him I went to Roberts, who seemed disposed to " back 
down," but I told him I should not insist upon the 
terms of his published card, and asked him if he was 
under any engagement? Learning that he was not, I 
offered him thirty dollars to perform under my direction 
one night at the Walnut, and he accepted. A great trial 
of skill between Roberts and Vivalla was duly announced 
by posters and through the press. Meanwhile, they 
rehearsed privately to see what tricks each could per 
form, and the "business" was completely arranged. 

Public excitement was at fever heat, and on the night 
of the trial the pit and upper boxes were crowded to 
the full ; indeed sales of tickets to these localities were 
soon stopped, for there were no seats to sell. The 
" contest" between the performers, was eager and each 
had his party in the house. So far as I could learn, 
no one complained that he did not get all he paid 
for on that occasion. I engaged Roberts for a month 



80 MY START AS A SHOWMAN. 

and his subsequent " contests " with Vi valla amused the 
public and put money in my purse. 

Vivalla continued to perform for me in various places, 
including Peale s Museum, in New York, and I took 
him to different towns in Connecticut and in New 
Jersey, with poor success sometimes, as frequently the 
expenses exceeded the receipts. 

In April, 1836, I connected myself with Aaron 
Turner s travelling circus company as ticket-seller, 
secretary and treasurer, at thirty dollars a month and 
one-fifth of the entire profits, while Vivalla was to 
receive a salary of fifty dollars. As I was already pay 
ing him eighty dollars a month, our joint salaries 
reimbursed me and left me the chance of twenty per 
cent of the net receipts. We started from D anbury for 
West Springfield, Massachusetts, April 26th, and on 
the first day, instead of halting to dine, as I expected, 
Mr. Turner regaled the whole company with three loaves 
of rye bread and a pound of butter, bought at a farm 
house at a cost of fifty cents, and, after watering the 
horses, we went on our way. 

We began our performances at West Springfield, 
April 28th, and as our expected band of music had not 
arrived from Providence, I made a prefatory speech 
announcing our disappointment, and our intention 
to please our patrons, nevertheless. The two Turner 
boys, sons of the proprietor, rode finely. Joe Pent- 
land, one of the wittiest, best, and most original of 
clowns, with Vivalla s tricks and other performances in 
the ring, more than made up for the lack of music. In 
a day or two our band arrived arid our " houses" 
improved. My diary is full of incidents of our sum 
mer tour through numerous villages, towns, and cities 






MY STAUT AS A SHOWMAN. 81 

in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsyl 
vania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, 
Virginia, and North Carolina. 

While we were at Cabotville, Massachusetts, on going 
to bed one night one of my room-mates threw a lighted 
stump of a cigar into a spit-box filled with sawdust 
and the result was that about one o clock T. V. Turner, 
who slept in the room, awoke in the midst of a dense 
smoke and barely managed to crawl to the window to 
open it, and to awaken us in time to save us from suf 
focation 

At Lenox, Massachusetts, one Sunday I attended 
church as usual, and the preacher denounced our circus 
and all connected with it as immoral, and was very 
abusive; whereupon when he had read the closing 
hymn I walked up the pulpit stairs and handed him a 
written request, signed U P. T. Barnum, connected 
with the circus, June 5, 1836," to be permitted to reply 
to him. He declined to notice it, and after the benedic 
tion I lectured him for not giving me an opportunity 
to vindicate myself and those with whom I was con 
nected. Tbe affair created considerable excitement 
and some of the members of the church apologized to 
me for their clergyman s ill-behavior. A similar affair 
happened afterwards at Port Deposit, on the lower Sus- 
quehanna; and in this instance I addressed the audience 
for half an hour, defending the circus company against 
the attacks of the clergyman, and the people listened, 
though their pastor repeatedly implored them to go 
home. Often have I collected our company on Sunday 
and read to them the Bible or a printed sermon, and 
one or more of the men frequently accompanied me to 
church. We made no pretence of religion, but we 
4* 



82 MY STAET AS A SHOWMAN. 

were not the worst people in the world, and we thought 
ourselves entitled to at least decent treatment when we 
went to hear the preaching of the gospel. 

The proprietor of the circus, Aaron Turner, was a 
self-made man, who had acquired a large fortune by his 
industry. He believed that any man with health and 
common sense could become rich if he only resolved to 
be so, and he was very proud of the fact that he began 
the world with no advantages, no education, and with 
out a shilling. Withal, he was a practical joker, as I 
more than once discovered to my cost. While we were 
at Annapolis, Maryland, he played a trick upon me 
which was fun to him, but was very nearly death to me. 

We arrived on Saturday night and as I felt quite 
" flush " I bought a fine suit of black clothes. On Sun 
day morning I dressed myself in my new suit and started 
out for a stroll. While passing through the bar-room 
Turner called the attention of the company present to 
me and said : 

" I think it very singular you permit that rascal to 
march your streets in open day. It would n t be 
allowed in Rhode Island, and I suppose that is the rea 
son the black-coated scoundrel has come down this 
way." jrjg. 

" Why, who is he ? " asked half a dozen at once. 

"Do n t you know? Why that is the Kev. E. K. 
Avery, the murderer of Miss Cornell ! " 

" Is it possible ! " they exclaimed, all starting for the 
door, eager to get a look at me, and swearing vengeance. 

It was only recently that the Rev. Ephraim K. 
Avery had been tried in Ehode Island for the murder of 
Miss Cornell, whose body was discovered in a stack 
yard, and though Avery was acquitted in court, the gen- 



MY STABT AS A SHOWMAN. 83 

eral sentiment of the country condemned him. It was 
this Avery whom Turner made me represent. I had 
not walked far in my fine clothes, before I was over 
taken by a mob of a dozen, which rapidly increased to 
at least a hundred, and my ears were suddenly saluted 
with such observations as, " the lecherous old hypo 
crite," " the sanctified murderer," " the black-coated 
villain," " lynch the scoundrel," " let s tar and feather 
him," and like remarks which I had no idea applied to 
me till one man seized me by the collar, while five or 
six more appeared on the scene with a rail. 

" Come," said the man who collared me, " old chap, 
you can t walk any further ; we know you, and as we 
always make gentlemen ride in these parts, you may just 
prepare to straddle that rail ! " 

My surprise may be imagined. " Good heavens ! " 
I exclaimed, as they all pressed around me, " gentlemen, 
what have I done 1 " 

" Oh, we know you," exclaimed half a dozen voices ; 
" you need n t roll your sanctimonious eyes ; that game 
do n t take in this country. Come, straddle the rail, and 
remember the stack-yard ! " 

I grew more and more bewildered ; I could not, 
imagine what possible offence I was to suffer for, and I 
continued to exclaim, " Gentlemen, what have I done? " 
Don t kill me, gentlemen, but tell me what I have 
done." 

" Come, make him straddle the rail ; well show him 
how to hang poor factory girls," shouted a man in the 
crowd. 

The man who had me by the collar then remarked, 
< c Come, Mr. Avery, it s no use, you see, we know you, 
and we ll give you a touch of Lynch law, and start you 
for home again." 



84 MY STAET AS A SHOWltfAK. 

"My name is not Avery, gentlemen; you are mis 
taken in your man," I exclaimed. 

"Come, come, none of your gammon; straddle ! th ! e 
rail, Ephrarmi" 

The rail was brought and I was about to be placed on 
it, when the truth flashed upon me. 

" Gentlemen," I exclaimed, " I am not AVery ; I <Is- 
pise that villain as much as you can ; ^ra^Xname is Bar- 
num ; I belong to the circus which arrived j here last 
night, and I am sure Old Turner, my partner, has 
hoaxed you with this ridiculous story." 

" If he has we ll lynch him," said ondbf the; rnbD. 

44 Well, he has, I ll assure youj and if J you will walk 
to the hotel with me, I ll convince ^you 1 of the fadf 11 "" 

This they reluctantly as^nted to, keeping, h ; 6 We ver, 
a close hand upon me. As we walked up the main 
street, the mob received a re-enforcement of some fifty or 
sixty, and I was marched like a malefactor up to trie 
hotel. Old Turner stood on tile piazza ready to explode 
with laughter. I appealed to him for heaven s sake fo 
explain this matter, that I might be liberated. He con 
tinued to laugh, but finally told them cc he believed there 
was some mistake about it. The fact is," said he, u my 
friend Barnitm has a new suit of black clothes on and 
he looks so much like a priest that I thought he must 
be Avery " 

The crowd saw the joke and seemed satisfied. "My 
new coat had been half torn from my back and I had 
been very roughly handled. But some of the crowd 
apologized for the outrage, declaring that Turner ought 
to be served in the same way, while others advised me 
to : get even with him." I was very much offended, 
and when the mob dispersed I asked Turner what could 
have induced him to play such a trick upon me. 



MY STAKT AS A SHOWMAN. 85 

My dear Mr. Barnum," h replied, " it was all for 
our good. Remember, all we need to insure success 
is notoriety. You will see that this will be noised all 
about town as a trick played by one of the circus 
managers upon the other, and our pavilion will be 
crammed to-morrow night." 

It was even so ; the trick was told all over town and 
every one came to see the circus managers who were in 
a habit of playing practical jokes upon each other. 
We had fine audiences while we remained at Annapolis, 
but it was a long time before I forgave Turner for 
his rascally "joke." 



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IIw aolIi /UQ mo hirr /loilio 91!* noqir ^-A ? ^j;aj;rn 
CHAPTER VI. 



1IY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 

/ offw 8-flfeuiijjin errTiio oiL* o^a ot orr 

MEALS AND LODGING IN ONE, HOUR TURNING THE TABLES ON- 1 URNER 
A SON AS OLD AS HIS FATHER LEAVING THE CIRCUS WITH TWELVE HUN 
DRED DOLLARS MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY PREACHING TO THE 
PEOPLE APPEARING AS A NEGRO MINSTREL THREATENED WITH ASSAS 
SINATION ESCAPES FISOM DANGER TEMPERANCE REPORT OF MY ARREST 
FOR MURDER RE -ENFORCING MY COMPANY "BARNUM S GRAND SCIENTIFIC 
AND MUSICAL THEATRE" OUTWITTING A SHERIFF "l^ADY" HAYES s" MAN 
SION AND PLANTATION A BRILLIANT AUDIENCE BASS DRUM SOLO CROSS 
ING THE INDIAN NATION JQE PENTLAND AS A SAVAGE TERROR AND 
FLIGHT OF VIVALLA A NONPLUSSED LEGERDEMAIN PERFORMER A MALE 
EGG -LAYER DISBANDING MY COMPANY A NEW PARTNERSHIP PUBLIC 
LECTURING DIFFICULTY WITH A DROVER THE STEAMBOAT " CERES " 
SUDDEN MARRIAGE ON BOARD MOBBED IN LOUISIANA ARRIVAL AT NEW 
ORLEANS. 

AN amusing incident occurred when we were at 
Hanover Court House, in Virginia. It rained so heavily 
that we could not perform there and Turner decided to 
start for Richmond immediately after dinner, when he 
was informed by the landlord that as our agent had 
engaged three meals and lodging for the whole 
company, the entire hill must be paid whether we went 
then, or next morning. No compromise could be 
effected with the stubborn landlord and so Tunic i 
proceeded to get the worth of his money as follows : 

lie ordered dinner at twelve o clock, which was duly 
prepared and eaten. The table was cleared and re-set 
for supper at half-past twelve. At one o clock we all 
went to bed, every man carrying a lighted candle to his 
room. There were thirty-six of us and we all 
undressed and tumbled into bed as if we were going to 



MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 87 

stay all night. In naif an hour we rose and went down 
to the hot breakfast which Turner had demanded and 
which we found smoking on the table. Turner was 
very grave, the landlord was exceedingly angry, and the 
rest of us were convulsed with laughter at the absurdity 
of the whole proceeding. We disposed of our break 
fast as if we had eaten nothing for ten hours and 
then started for Richmond with the satisfaction that 
we fairly settled with our unreasonable landlord. 

At Richmond, after performances were over one 
night, I managed to partially pay Turner for his Avery 
trick. A dozen or more of us were enjoying ourselves 
in the sitting room of the hotel, telling stories and 
singing songs, when some of the company proposed 
sundry amusing arithmetical questions, followed by one 
from Turner, which was readily : solved. Hoping to 
catch Turner I then proposed the following problem : 

"Suppose a man is thirty years of age and he has 
a child one year of age ; he is thirty times older than 
his child. When the child is thirty years old, the 
father, being ^sixty, is only twice as old as his child. 
When the child is sixty the father is ninety, and there 
fore only one-third older than the child. When the 
child is ninety the father is one hundred and twenty, 
and therefore only one- fourth older than the child. 
Thus yoii see, the. child is gradually but surely gaining 
on the parent, and as he certainly .continues to come 
nearer and nearer, in time he must overtake him. The 
question therefore is : , suppose it was possible for them to 
livelong enough, how old ? would the father be when 
the child overtook him and became of the same age?" 

The company generally saw the catch; but Turner 
was very much interested in the problem, and although 



88 MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 

he admitted he knew nothing about arithmetic he was 
convinced that as the son was gradually gaining on the 
father he must reach him if there was time enough 
say, a thousand years, or so for the race. But an old 
gentleman gravely remarked that the idea of a son be 
coming as old as his father while both were living was 
simply nonsense, and he offered to bet a dozen of cham 
pagne that the thing was impossible, even " in figures." 
Turner, who was a betting man, and who thought the 
problem might be proved, accepted the wager ; but he 
was soon convinced that however much the boy might 
relatively gain upon his father, there would always be 
thirty years difference in their ages. The champagne 
cost him $25, and he failed to see the fun of my arith 
metic, though at last he acknowledged that it was a fair 
offset to the Avery trick. 

We went from Richmond to Petersburg, and from 
that place to Warrenton, North Carolina, where, Octo 
ber 30th, my engagement expired with a profit to myself 
of $1,200. I now separated from the circus company, 
taking Vivalla, James Sanford, (a negro singer and 
dancer,) several musicians, horses, wagons, and a small 
canvas tent with which I intended to begin a travelling 
exhibition of my own. My company started and Tur 
ner took me on the way in his own carriage some twenty 
miles. We parted reluctantly and my friend wished me 
every success in my new venture. 

On Saturday, November 12, 1836, we halted at Kocky 
Mount Falls, North Carolina, and on my way to the 
Baptist Church, Sunday morning, I noticed a stand and 
benches in a grove near by, and determined to speak to 
the people if I was permitted. The landlord who was 
with me said that the congregation, coming from a dis- 



MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 89 

tance to attend a single service, would be very glad to 
hear a stranger and I accordingly asked the venerable 
clergyman to announce that after service I would speak 
for half an hour in the grove. Learning that I was not 
a clergyman, he declined to give the notice, but said 
that he had no objection to my making the announce 
ment, which I did, and the congregation, numbering 
about three hundred, promptly came to hear me. 

I told them I was not a preacher and had very littk 
experience in public speaking ; but I felt a deep interest 
in matters of morality and religion, and would attempt, 
in a plain way, to set before them the duties and privi 
leges of man. I appealed to every man s experience, 
observation and reason, to confirm the Bible doctrine of 
wretchedness in vice and happiness in virtue. We can 
not violate the laws of God with impunity, and he will 
not keep back the wages of well-doing. The outside 
show of things is of very small account. We must 
look to realities and not to appearances. " Diamonds 
may glitter on a vicious breast," but " the soul s calm 
sunshine and the heart-felt joy is virtue s prize." The 
rogue, the passionate man, the drunkard, are not to be 
envied even at the best, and a conscience hardened by 
sin is the most sorrowful possession we can think of. I 
went on in this way, with some scriptural quotations and 
familiar illustrations, for three-quarters of an hour. At 
the close of my address several persons took me by 
the hand, expressing themselves as greatly pleased and 
desiring to know my name ; and I went away with the 
feeling that possibly I might have done some good in 
the beautiful grove on that charming Sunday morning. 

When we were at Camden, South Carolina, Sanford 
suddenly left me, and as I had advertised negro songs 



90 MY FIBST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 

and none of my company was competent to fill Sanford s 
place, not to disappoint my audience, I blacked myself 
and sung the advertised songs, "Zip Coon," etc., and to 
my surprise was much applauded, while two of the 
songs were encored. One evening after singing my 
songs I heard a disturbance outside the tent and going 
to the spot found a person disputing with my men. I 
took part on the side of the men, when the person who 
was quarrelling with them drew a pistol and exclaiming, 
" you black scoundrel ! how dare you use such language 
to a white man," he proceeded to cock it. I saw that 
he thought I was a negro and meant to blow my brains 
out. Quick as thought I rolled my sleeve up, showed 
my skin, and said, " I am as white as you are, sir." He 
dropped his pistol in positive fright and begged my 
pardon. My presence of mind saved me. 

On four different occasions in my life I have had a 
loaded pistol pointed at my head and each time I have 
escaped death by what seemed a miracle. I have also 
often been in deadly peril by accidents, and when I 
think of these things I realize my indebtedness to an 
all-protecting Providence. Reviewing my career, too, 
and considering the kind of company I kept for years 
and the associations with which I was surrounded and 
connected, I am surprised as well as grateful that I was 
not ruined. I honestly believe that I owe my preserva 
tion from the degradation of living and dying a loafer 
and a vagabond, to the single fact that I was never 
addicted to strong drink. To be sure, I have in times 
past drank liquor, but I have generally wholly abstained 
from intoxicating beverages, and for more than twenty 
years past, I am glad to say, I have been a strict " tee- 
totaller. lp" <>^;fl 



MY FIEST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 91 

At Camden I lost one of my musicians, a Scotchman 
named Cochran, who was arrested for advising the 
negro barber who was shaving him to run away to the 
Free States or to Canada. I made every effort to effect 
Cochran s release, but he was imprisoned more than six 
months. 

While I was away from home I generally wrote twice 
a week to my family and received letters nearly as often 
from my wife. One of her letters, which I received in 
Columbia, South Carolina, informed me it was currently 
reported in Connecticut that I was under sentence of 
death in Canada for murder ! The story grew out of a 
rumor about a difficulty in Canada between some row 
dies and a circus company not Turner s, for we met 
his troupe at Columbia, December 5, 1836. That com 
pany was then to be disbanded and I bought four horses 
and two wagons and hired Joe .Pentland and Robert 
White to join my company. White, as a negro-singer, 
would relieve me from that roll, and Pentland, besides 
being a capital clown, was celebrated as a ventriloquist, 
comic singer, balancer, and legerdemain performer. 
My re-enforced exhibition was called " Barnum s Grand 
Scientific and Musical Theatre." 

Some time previously, in Ealeigh, North Carolina, I 
had sold one-half of my establishment to a man, whom 
I will call Henry, who now acted as treasurer and 
v ticket-taker. At Augusta, Georgia, the sheriff served a 
writ upon this Henry for a debt of $500. As Henry 
had $600 of the company s money in his possession, I 
immediately procured a bill of sale of all his property in 
the exhibition and returned to the theatre where Henry s 
creditor and the creditor s lawyer were waiting for me. 
They demanded the keys of the stable so as to levy on 



92 MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 

the horses and wagons. I begged delay till I could 
see Henry, and they consented. Henry was anxious to 
cheat his creditor and he at once signed the bill of sale. 
I returned and informed the creditor that Henry refused 
to pay or compromise the claim. The sheriff then de 
manded the keys of the stable door to attach Henry s 
interest in the property. " Not yet," said I, showing a 
bill of sale, " you see I am in full possession of the 
property as entire owner. You confess that you have 
not yet levied on it, and if you touch my property, you 
do it at your peril." 

They were very much taken aback and the sheriff 
immediately conveyed Henry to prison. The next day 
I learned that Henry owed his creditors thirteen hun 
dred dollars and that he had agreed when the Saturday 
evening performance was ended to hand over five 
hundred dollars ( company money ) and a bill of sale 
of his interest, in consideration of which one of the 
horses was to be ready for him to run away with, 
leaving me in the lurch ! Learning this, I had very 
little sympathy for Henry and my next step was 
to secure the five hundred dollars he had secreted. 
Vivalla had obtained it from him to keep it from 
the sheriff ; I received it from Vivalla, on Henry s 
order, as a supposed means of procuring bail for him 
on Monday morning. I then paid the creditor the full 
amount obtained from Henry as the price of his half 
interest in the exhibition and received in return an 
assignment of five hundred dollars of the creditor s 
claims and a guaranty that I should not be troubled 
by my late partner on that score. Thus, promptness of 
action and good luck relieved me from one of the most 
mpleasant positions in which I had ever been placed. 



MY FIKST TEAVELLISTG COMPANY. 93 

While travelling with our teams and show through a 
desolate part of Georgia, our advertiser, who was in 
advance of the party, finding the route, on one occasion, 
too long for us to reach a town at night, arranged with 
a poor widow woman named Hayes to furnish us with 
meals and let us lodge in her hut and out-houses. It 
was a beggarly place, belonging to one of the poorest of 
" poor whites." Our horses were to stand out all night, 
and a farmer, six miles distant, was to bring a load 
of provender on the day of our arrival. Bills were 
then posted announcing a performance under a canvas 
tent near Widow Hayes s, for, as a show was a rarity 
in that region, it was conjectured that a hundred 
or more small farmers and " poor whites " might be 
assembled and that the receipts would cover the 
expenses. 

Meanwhile, our advertiser, who was quite a wag, 
wrote back informing us of the difficulties of reaching 
a town on that part of our route and stating that he 
had made arrangements for us to stay over night on the 
plantation of " Lady Hayes," and that although the 
country was sparsely settled, we could doubtless give 
a profitable performance to a fair audience. 

Anticipating a fine time on this noble " plantation," 
we started at four o clock in the morning so as 
to arrive at one o clock, thus avoiding the heat of 
the afternoon. Towards noon we came to a small river 
where sqme men, whom we afterwards discovered to be 
down-east Yankees, from Maine, were repairing a bridge. 
Every flooring plank had been taken up and it was 
impossible for our teams to cross. " Could the bridge 
be fixed so that we could go over?" I inquired ; " No ; 
it would take half a day, and meantime if we must 



$4 MY FIEST TEA YELLING COMPANY. 

cross, there was a place about sixte eii- thiles down the 
river where we could get over." "But we can t go fee-far 
as that ; we are under engagement to; perform on Lady 
Hayes s place to-night and we must cross here. 
Fix the bridge and we will pay you handsomely." 

They wanted no money, but if we - would give them 
some tickets to our show they thought they might do 
something for us. I gladly consented and in fifteen 
minutes we crossed that bridge. The cunning rascals 
had seen our posters and knew we were coming ; so 
they had taken up the planks of the bridge and had 
hidden them till they had levied upon us for tickets, 
when the floor was re-laid in a quarter of an hour. We 
laughed heartily at the trick and were very glad to 
cross so cheaply. 

Towards dinner time, we began to look out for the 
grand mansion of " Lady Hayes," and seeing nothing 
but little huts we quietly puisued our journey. At one 
o clock the time- \vhen we should have arrived at our 
destination-! became impatient and riding up to a 
poverty-stricken hovel and seeing a ragged, barefooted 
old woman, with her sleeves rolled up to her shoulders, 
who was washing clothes in front of the door, I in 
quired 

" Hallo ! can you tell me where Lady Hayes lives ? " 

The old woman raised her head, which was covered 
with tangled locks and matted hair, and exclaimed 

"Hey?" 

" No, Hayes, Lady Hayes ; where is her plantation ? " 

" This is the place," she answered ;. " I m Widder 
Hayes and you are all to stay here to-night." 

We could not believe our ears or eyes ; but after put 
ting the dirty old woman through a severe cross-exami- 



MY FIEST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 95 

nation she finally produced a contract, signed by our 
advertiser, agreeing for board and lodging for" the com 
pany and we found ourselves booked for the night. It 
appeared that our advertiser could find no better quar 
ters in that forlorn section and he had indulged in a 
Joke at our expense by exciting our appetites and ima 
ginations in anticipation of the luxuries we should find 
in the magnificent mansion of "Lady Hayes." 

Joe Pentland grumbled, Bob White indulged in 
some very strong language, and Signor Vivalla laughed. 
He had travelled with his monkey and organ in Italy 
and could put up with any fare that offered. I took 
the disappointment philosophically, simply remarking 
that we must make the best of it and compensate our 
selves when we reached a town next day. 

When the old woman called us to dinner we crept 
into her hut and found that she had improvised benches 
at her table by placing boards upon the only four chairs 
in her possession, and at that, some of us were obliged 
to stand. The dinner consisted of a piece of boiled 
smoked bacon, a large dish of " greens," and corn bread. 
Three plates, two knives, and three forks made up the 
entire table furniture and compelled a resort to our jack- 
knives. " A short horse is soon curried," and dinner 
was speedily despatched. It did not seem possible for an 
audience to assemble in that forsaken quarter, and we 
concluded not to take the canvas tent out of the wagon. 

By three o clock, however, at least fifty persons had 
arrived on the ground to attend the night show and 
they reported " more a coming." Accordingly we put 
up the tent and arranged our small stage and curtains, 
preparing seats for two hundred people. Those who 
had already arrived were mostly women, many of them 



MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 

sixteen to twenty years old poor,, thin, sallow- 
%ced creatures, wretchedly clad, some of fliem engaged 
in smoking pipes, while the rest were cliewing snuff. 
This latter process was new to me ; each chewer was 
provided with a short stick, softened at one end, by 
chewing it, and this stick was occasionally dipped into a 
snuff box and then stuck into the month., from whence 
it protruded like a cigar. The technical term for the 
ijEoceeding is " snuff- dipping." 

Before night, stragglers had brought the number 
0> people on Lady Hayes 7 plantation up to cne 
Hundred, and soon after dark, we opened our exhibition 
"o an audience of about two hundred. The men were 
3, pale, haggard set of uncombed 3 uncouth creatures, 
whose constantly-moving jaws and the streams of 
colored saliva exuding from the corners of their mouths 
indicated that they were confirmed tobacco chewers. I 
never saw a more stupid and brutish assemblage of 
human beings. The performance delighted them ; 
Pentland s sleight-of-hand tricks astonished them and led 
them to declare that he must be in league with the evil 
one ; Signor Vivalla s ball-tossing and plate spinning 
elicited their loudest applause ; and Bob White s negro 
songs and break-downs made them fairly scream with 
laughter. 

At last, the performance terminated and Pentland 
stepped forward and delivered the closing address, which 
he had repeated, word for word, a hundred times, and 
which was precisely as follows : 

" Ladies and Gentlemen : The entertainments of the 
evening have now come to a conclusion, and, we hope, 
to your general satisfaction." 

But now came a dilemma ; the meaning of this 



MY FIKST TKAVELLING COMPANY. 97 

announcement was quite above the comprehension of 
the audience ; they had not the remotest idea that the 
performance was finished, and they sat like statues. 

With a hearty laugh at Pentland I told him that his 
language was not understood in this locality and that 
he must try again. He was chagrined, and declared 
that he would not say another word. Little Vivalla 
laughed, danced around like a monkey, and said, in his 
broken English : 

" Ah, ha ! Signer Pentland ; you no speak good Eeng- 
lish, hah ! These educated peoples no understand you, 

eh? By gar what d d fools. Ah, Signor Barnum, 

let me speaks to them ; I will make them jump double 
queek." 

I quite enjoyed the fun and said, " Well, Signor, go 
ahead." 

The little Italian jumped upon the stage and with a 
broad grimace and tremendous gesture exclaimed 

" Eet is feenish !" 

He then retired behind the curtain, but, of course, 
the audience did not understand that he had told them 
the performance was finished. No one would have 
understood him. Hence, the spectators sat still, won 
dering what would come next. " By gar," said Vivalla, 
losing his temper, " I will give them a hint," and he 
loosened the cord and down fell the curtain on one 
side of the stage. 

" Good, good," cried out an enthusiastic " poor 
white," giving his quid a fresh roll to the other side of 
his mouth, " now we are going to have something new." 

" I reckon they s to tin that plunder off to get ready 
for a dance," said a delicate " dipper," making a lunge 
into her box for another mouthful of the dust. 



98 MY FIRST TBAVELLIKO COMPANY. 

Things were becoming serious, and I saw that in 
order to get rid of these people they must be addressed 
in plain language ; so, walking upon the stage, I simply 
said, making at the same time a motion for them to 
g> 

"It is all over ; no more performance ; the show is 
out." 

This was understood, but they still stood upon the 
order of their going and were loth to leave, especially 
as the, to them, extraordinary announcements of Pent- 
land and Vivalla had prepared them for something 
fresh. Several days before, our band of musicians had 
left us, reducing our orchestra to an organ and pipes, 
ground and blown by an Italian whom we had picked 
up on the road. We had, in addition, a large bass 
drum, with no one to beat it, and this drum was espied 
by some of the audience in going out. Very soon I 
was waited upon by a masculine committee of three, 
who informed me that " the young ladies were very 
anxious to hear a tune on the big drum." Pentland 

o 

heard the request and replied, " I will accommodate the 
young ladies," and strapping on the drum he took a 
stick in each hand and began to pound tremendously. 
Occasionally he would rap the sticks together, toss one 
of them into the air, catching it as it came down, and 
then pound away again like mad. In fact, he cut up 
all sorts of pranks with that big drum and when he 
was tired out and stopped, he was gratified at being told 
by the " young ladies " that they had never heard a big 
drum before, but he " played it splendid," and they 
thought it was altogether the best part of the entire 
performance ! 

The next forenoon we arrived at Macon, and congra- 



MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 99 

tulated ourselves that we had again reached the regions 
of civilization. 

In going from Columbus, Georgia, to Montgomery, 
Alabama, we were obliged to cross a thinly-settled, 
desolate tract, known as the "Indian Nation," and as 
several persons had been murdered by hostile Indians 
in that region, it was deemed dangerous to travel the 
road without an escort. Only the day before we started, 
the mail stage had been stopped and the passengers 
murdered, the driver alone escaping. We were well 
armed, however, and trusted that our numbers would 
present too formidable a force to be attacked, though 
we dreaded to incur the risk. Vivalla alone was fear 
less and was ready to encounter fifty Indians and drive 
them into the swamp. 

Accordingly, when we had safely passed over the 
entire route to within fourteen miles of Montgomery, 
and were beyond the reach of danger, Joe Pentland 
determined to test Vivalla s bravery. He had secretly 
purchased at Mount Megs, on the way, an old Indian 
dress with a fringed hunting shirt and moccasins and 
these he put on, after coloring his face with Spanish 
brown. Then, shouldering his musket he followed 
Vivalla and the party and, approaching stealthily, 
leaped into their midst with a tremendous whoop. 

Vivalla s companions were in the secret, and they 
instantly fled in all directions. Vivalla himself ran like 
a deer and Pentland after him, gun in hand and yelling 
horribly. After running a full mile the poor little 
Italian, out of breath and frightened nearly to death, 
dropped on his knees and begged for his life. The 
"Indian" levelled his gun at his victim, but soon 
seemed to relent and signified that Vivalla should turn 



100 MY FIKST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 

his pockets inside out which he did, producing and 
handing over a purse, containing eleven dollars. The 
savage then marched Vivalla to an oak and with a 
handkerchief tied him in the most approved Indian 
manner to the tree, leaving him half dead with 
fright. 

Pentland then joined us, and washing his face and 
changing his dress, we all went to the relief of Vivalla. 
He was overjoyed to see us, and when he was released 
his courage returned ; he swore that after his compan 
ions left him the Indian had been re-enforced by six 
more to whom, in default of a gun or other means to 
defend himself, Vivalla had been compelled to surren 
der. We pretended to believe his story for a week and 
then told him the joke, which he refused to credit, 
and also declined to take the money which Pentland 
offered to return, as it could not possibly be his since 
seven Indians had taken his money. We had a great 
deal of fun over Vivalla s courage, but the matter made 
him so cross and surly that we were finally obliged to 
drop it altogether. From that time forward, however, 
Vivalla never boasted of his prowess. 

We arrived at Montgomery, February 28th, 1837. 
Here I met Henry Hawley a legerdemain performer, 
about forty-five years of age, but as he was prematurely 
gray he looked at least seventy, and I sold him one-half 
of my exhibition. He had a ready wit, a happy way oi 
localizing his tricks, was very popular in that part of the 
country, where he had been performing for several years, 
and I never saw him nonplussed but once. This was 
when he was performing on one occasion the well- 
known egg and bag trick, which he did with his usual 
success, producing egg after egg from the bag and 



MY FIRST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 101 

finally breaking one to show that they were genuine, 
" Now," said Hawley, " I will show you the old hen 
that laid them." It happened, however, that the negro 
boy to whom had been intrusted the duty of supplying 
the bag had made a slight mistake which was manifest 
when Hawley triumphantly produced, not " the old hen 
that laid the eggs," but a rooster! The whole audience 
was convulsed with laughter ,and the abashed Hawley 
retreated to the dressing room cursing the stupidity of 
the black boy who had been paid to put a hen in the 
bag. 

After performing in different places in Alabama, 
Kentucky, and Tennessee, we disbanded at Nashville in 
May, 1837, Vivalla going to New York, where he per 
formed on his own account for a while previous to sail 
ing for Cuba. Hawley staying in Tennessee to look after 
our horses which had been turned out to grass, and I 
returning home to spend a few weeks with my family. 

Early in July, returning west with a new company of 
performers, I rejoined Hawley and we began our cam 
paign in Kentucky. We were not successful ; one of 
our small company was incompetent ; another was in 
temperate both were dismissed ; and our negro-singer 
was drowned in the river at Frankfort. Funds were 
low and I was obliged to leave pledges here and there, 
in payment for bills, which I afterwards redeemed. 
Hawley and I dissolved in August and making a new 
partnership with Z. Graves, I left him in charge of the 
establishment and went to Tiffin, Ohio, where I re-en 
gaged Joe Pentland, buying his horses and wagons and 
taking him, with several musicians, to Kentucky. 

During my short stay at Tiffin, a religious conversa 
tion at the hotel introduced me to several gentlemen 

5* 



102 MY FIKST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 

who requested me to lecture on the subjects we had dis 
cussed, and I did so to a crowded audience in the school- 
house Sunday afternoon and evening. At the solicitation 
of a gentleman from Republic, I also delivered two 
lectures in that town on the evenings of September 4th 
and 5th. 

On our way to Kentucky, just before we reached 
Cincinnati, we met a drove of hogs and one of the 
drivers making an insolent remark because our wagons 
interfered with his swine, I replied in the same vein, 
when he dismounted and pointing a pistol at my breast 
swore he would shoot nie if I did not apologize. I begged 
him to permit me to consult with a friend in the next 
wagon, and the misunderstanding should be satisfac 
torily settled. My friend was a loaded double-barreled 
gun which I pointed at him and said : 

" Now, sir, you must apologize, for your brains are 
in danger. You drew a weapon upon me for a trivial 
remark. You seem to hold human life at a cheap 
price; and now, sir, you have the choice between 
a load of shot and an apology." 

This led to an apology and a friendly conversation in 
which we both agreed that many a life is sacrificed 
in sudden anger because one or both of the contending 
parties carry deadly weapons. 

In our subsequent southern tour we exhibited 
at Nashville ( where I visited General Jackson, at 
the Hermitage), Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Vicksburg and 
intermediate places, doing tolerably well. At Vicks 
burg we sold all our land conveyances, excepting 
the band wagon and four horses, bought the steamboat 
" Ceres " for six thousand dollars, hired the captain and 
crew, and started down the river to exhibit at places on 



MY FI11ST TRAVELLING COMPANY. 103 

the way. At Natchez our cook left us and in the 
search for another I found a white widow who would 
go, only she expected to marry a painter. I called 
on the painter who had not made up his mind whether 
to marry the widow or not, but I told him if he would 
marry her the next morning I would hire her at twenty- 
five dollars a month as cook, employ him at the same 
wages as painter, with board for both, and a cash bonus 
of fifty dollars. There was a wedding on board the 
next day and we had a good cook and a good dinner. 

During one of our evening performances at Fran- 
cisville, Louisiana, a man tried to pass me at the door 
of the tent, claiming that he had paid for admittance. I 
refused him entrance ; and as he was slightly intoxicated 
he struck me with a slung shot, mashing my hat 
and grazing what phrenologists call " the organ of 
caution." He went away and soon returned with a 
gang of armed and half-drunken companions who 
ordered us to pack up our " traps and plunder " and to 
get on board our steamboat within an hour. The 
big tent speedily came down. No one was permitted to 
help us, but the company worked with a will and 
within five minutes of the expiration of the hour we 
were on board and ready to leave. The scamps who had 
caused our departure escorted us and our last load, 
waving pine torches, and saluted us with a hurrah as we 
swung into the stream. 

The New Orleans papers of March 19, 1838, 
announced the arrival of the " Steamer Ceres, Captain 
13arnum, with a theatrical company." After a week s 
performances, we started for the Attakapas country. 
At Opelousas we exchanged the steamer for sugar and 
molasses; our company was disbanded, and I started 
for home, arriving in New York, June 4, 18S8. 



CHAPTER VII. 

AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER 

DISGUST AT THE TRAVELLED BUSINESS ADVERTISING FOB AN ASSOCIATE RUSH 
OF THE MILLION-MAKERS COUNTERFEITERS, CHEATS AND QUACKS ANEW 
BUSINESS SWINDLED BY MY PARTNER DIAMOND THE DANGER A NEW COM 
PANY DESERTIONS SUCCESSES AT NEW ORLEANS TYRONE POWER AND 
FANNY ELLSLER IN JAIL AGAIN BACK TO NEW YORK ACTING AS A BOOK 
AGENT LEASING VAUXHALL FROM HAND TO MOUTH DETERMINATION TO 
MAKE MONEY FORTUNE OPENING HER DOOR THE AMERICAN MUSEUM FOR 
SALE NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE HOPES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS 
THE TRAIN LAID SMASHING A RIVAL COMPANY. 

I HAVE said that the show business has as many 
grades of dignity as trade, which ranges all the way 
from the mammoth wholesale establishment down to 
the corner stand. The itinerant amusement business is 
at the bottom of the ladder. I had begun there, but 
I had no wish to stay there ; in fact, I was thoroughly 
disgusted with the trade of a travelling showman, and 
although I felt that I could succeed in that line, yet I 
always regarded it, not as an end, but as a means to 
something better. 

Longing now for some permanent respectable busi 
ness, I advertised for a partner, stating that I had 
$ 2,500 to invest and would add my unremitting personal 
attention to the capital and the business. This adver 
tisement gave me an altogether new insight into human 
nature. Whoever wishes to know how some people 
live, or want to live, let him advertise for a partner, 
at the same time stating that he has a large or small 
capital to invest. I was flooded with answers to my 
advertisements and received no less than ninety-three 



AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER. 105 

different propositions for the use of my capital. Of 
these, at least one-third were from porter-house keep 
ers. Brokers, pawnbrokers, lottery-policy dealers, patent 
medicine Tnen, inventors, and others also made applica 
tion. Some of my correspondents declined to specif^ 
cally state the nature of their business, but they 
promised to open the door to untold wealth. 

I had interviews with some of these mysterious mil 
lion-makers. One of them was a counterfeiter, who, 
after much hesitation and pledges of secrecy showed 
me some counterfeit coin and bank notes ; he wanted 
$2,500 to purchase paper and ink and to prepare new 
dies, and he actually proposed that I should join him in 
the business which promised, he declared, a safe and 

rich harvest. Another sedate individual, dressed in 



Quaker costume, wanted me to join him in an oat specu 
lation. By buying a horse and wagon and by selling 
oats, bought at wholesale, in bags, he thought a good 
business could be done, especially as people w^ould not 
be particular to measure after a Quaker. 

" Do you mean to cheat in measuring your oats T I 
asked. 

" O, I should probably make them hold out," he an 
swered, with a leer. 

One application came from a Pearl street wool mer 
chant, who failed a month afterwards. Then came a 
"perpetual motion" man who had a fortune-making 
machine, in which I discovered a main-spring slyly hid 
in a hollow post, the spring making perpetual motion 
till it ran down. Finally, I went into partnership 
with a German, named Proler, who was a manufacturer 
of paste-blacking, water-proof paste for leather, Cologne 
water and bear s grease. We took the store No. 



106 AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER. 

Bowery, at a rent (including the dwelling) of $600 per 
annum, and opened a large manufactory of the above 
articles. Proler manufactured and sold the goods at 
wholesale in Boston, Charleston, Cleveland, and various 
other parts of the country. I kept the accounts, and 
attended to sales in the store, wholesale and retail. For 
a while the business seemed to prosper at least till 
my capital was absorbed and notes for stock began to 
fall due, with nothing to meet them, since we had sold 
our goods on long credits. In January, 1840, I dis 
solved partnership with Proler, he buying the entire in 
terest for $2,600 on credit, and then running away to 
Eotterdam without paying his note, and leaving me 
nothing but a few recipes. Proler was a good-looking, 
plausible, promising scamp. 

During my connection with Proler, I became ac 
quainted with a remarkable young dancer named John 
Diamond. He was one of the first and best of the 
numerous negro and " break-down " dancers who have 
since surprised and amused the public, and I entered 
into an engagement with his father for his services, put 
ting Diamond in the hands of an agent, as I did not 
wish to appear in the transaction. In the spring of 
1840, I hired and opened the Vauxhall Garden saloon, 
in New York, and gave a variety of performances, in 
cluding singing, dancing, Yankee stories, etc. In this 
saloon Miss Mary Taylor, afterwards so celebrated as an 
actress and singer, made her first appearance on the 
stage. The enterprise, however, did not meet my ex 
pectation and I relinquished it in August. 

What was to be done next? I dreaded resuming the 
life of an itinerant showman, but funds were low, I had 
a family to care for, and as nothing better presented I 



AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER 107 

made up my mind to endure the vexations and uncertain 
ties of a tour in the West and South. I collected a 
company, consisting of Mr. C. D. Jenkins, an excellent 
singer and delineator of Yankee and other characters ; 
Master John Diamond, the dancer; Francis Lynch, an 
orphan vagabond, fourteen years old, whom I picked up 
at Troy, and a fiddler. My brother-in-law, Mr. John 
Hallett, preceded us /is agent and advertiser, and our 
route passed through Buffalo, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, 
Ottawa, Springfield, the intermediate places, and St. 
Louis, where I took the steamboat for New Orleans with 
a company reduced by desertions to Master Diamond 
and the fiddler. 

Arriving in New Orleans, January 2, 1841, I had but 
$100 in my purse, and I had started from New York 
four months before with quite as much in my pocket. 
Excepting some small remittances to my family I had 
made nothing more than current expenses ; and, when I 
had been in New Orleans a fortnight, funds were so low 
that I was obliged to pledge my watch as security for 
my board bill. But on the 16th, I received from the 
St. Charles Theatre $500 as my half share of Diamond s 
benefit; the next night I had $50; and the third night 
$479 was my share of the proceeds of a grand dancing 
match at the theatre between Diamond and a negro 
dancer from Kentucky. Subsequent engagements at 
Vicksburg and Jackson were not so successful, but 
returning to New Orleans we again succeeded admira 
bly and afterwards at Mobile. Diamond, however, after 
extorting considerable sums of money from me, finally 
ran away, and, March 12th, I started homeward by way 
of the Mississippi and the Ohio. 

While I was in New Orleans I made the acquaint- 



108 AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER 

ance of that genial man, Tyrone Power, who was just 
concluding an engagement at the St. Charles Theatre. 
In bidding me farewell, he wished me every success and 
hoped we should meet again. Alas, poor Power ! All 
the world knows how he set sail from our shores, and 
he and his ship were never seen again. Fanny Ellsler 
was also in New Orleans, and when I saw seats in the 
dress circle sold at an average of v four dollars and one- 
half, I gave her agent, Chevalier Henry Wyckoff, great 
credit for exciting public enthusiasm to the highest 
pitch and I thought the prices enormous. I did not 
dream then that, within twelve years, I should be selling 
tickets in the same city for full five times that sum. 

At Pittsburg, where I arrived March 30th, I learned 
that Jenkins, who had enticed Francis Lynch away 
from me at St. Louis, was exhibiting him at the 
Museum under the name of "Master Diamond," and 
visiting the performance, the next day I wrote Jenkins 
an ironical review for which he threatened suit and 
he actually instigated R. W. Lindsay, from whom I 
hired Joice Heth in Philadelphia in 1835, and whom I 
had not seen since, though he was then residing in 
Pittsburg, to sue me for a pipe of brandy which, it was 
pretended, was promised in addition to the money paid 
him. I was required to give bonds of $500, which, 
as I was among strangers, I could not immediately 
procure, and I was accordingly thrown into jail till four 
o clock in the afternoon, when I was liberated. The 
next day I caused the arrest of Jenkins for trespass in 
assuming Master Diamond s name and reputation for 
Master Lynch, and he was sent to jail till four o clock in 
the afternoon. Each having had his turn at this amuse 
ment, we adjourned our controversy to New York where 



AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER 109 

I beat him. As for Lindsay, I heard nothing more of 
his claim or him till twelve years afterwards when he 
called on me in Boston with an apology. He was very 
poor and I was highly prosperous, and I may add that 
Lindsay did not lack a friend. 

I arrived in New York, April 23rd, 1841, after an 
absence of eight months ; finding my family in good 
health, I resolved once more that I would never again 
be an itinerant showman. Three days afterwards I 
contracted with Kobert Sears, the publisher, for five 
hundred copies of " Sears Pictorial Illustrations of the 
Bible," at $500, and accepting the United States agency, 
I opened an office, May 10th, at the corner of Beekman 
and Nassau "Streets, the site of the present Nassau 
Bank. I had had a limited experience with that book 
in this way : When I was in Pittsburg, an acquaintance, 
Mr. C. D. Harker, was complaining that he had nothing 
to do, when I picked up a New York paper and saw the 
advertisement of " Sears s Pictorial Illustrations of the 
Bible, price $2 a copy." Mr. Harker thought he 
could get subscribers, and I bought him a specimen 
copy, agreeing to furnish him with as many as he 
wanted at $l,37/ a copy, though I had never before 
seen the work and did not know the wholesale price. 
The result was that he obtained eighty subscribers in 
two days, and made $50. My own venture in the work 
was not so successful ; I advertised largely, had plenty 
of agents, and, in six months, sold thousands of copies ; 
but irresponsible agents used up all my profits and my 
capital. 

While engaged in this business I once more leased 
Vauxhall saloon, opening it June 14th, 1841, 
employing Mr. John Hallett, my brother-in-law, as 



110 AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER. 

manager under my direction, and at the close of the 
season, September 25th, we had cleared about two 
hundred dollars. This sum was soon exhausted, and 
with my family on my hands and no employment I was 
glad to do anything that would keep the wolf from the 
door. I wrote advertisements and notices for the 
Bowery Amphitheatre, receiving for the service four 
dollars a week, which I was very glad to get, and I 
also wrote articles for the Sunday papers, deriving a fair 
remuneration and managing to get a living. But I was 
at the bottom round of fortune s ladder, and it was 
necessary to make an effort which would raise me above 
want. 

I was specially stimulated to this effort by a letter 
which I received, about this time, from my esteemed 
friend, Hon. Thomas T. Whittlesey, of Danbury. He 
held a mortgage of five hundred dollars on a piece 
of property I owned in that place, and, as he was 
convinced that I would never lay up anything, he wrote 
me that I might as well pay him then as ever. This 
letter made me resolve to live no longer from hand 
to mouth, but to concentrate my energies upon laying 
up something for the future. 

While I was forming this practical determination 
I was much nearer to its realization than my most 
sanguine hopes could have predicted. The road to 
fortune was close by. Without suspecting it, 1 was 
about to enter upon an enterprise, which, while giving 
full scope for whatever tact, industry and pluck I might 
possess, was to take me from the foot of the ladder and 
place me many rounds above. 

As outside clerk for the Bowery Amphitheatre I 
J~ad casually learned that the collection of curiosities 



AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER. Ill 

comprising Scudder s American Museum, at the corner 
of Broadway and Ann Street, was for sale. It belonged 
to the daughters of Mr. Scudder, and was conducted for 
their benefit by John Furzman, under the authority 
of Mr. John Heath, administrator. The price asked 
for the entire collection was fifteen thousand dollars. It 
had cost its founder, Mr. Scudder, probably fifty 
thousand dollars, and from the profits of the establish 
ment he had been able to leave a large competency 
to his children. The Museum, however, had been 
for several years a losing concern, and the heirs were 
anxious to sell it. Looking at this property, I thought 
I saw that energy, tact and liberality, were only needed 
to make it a paying institution, and I determined to 
purchase it if possible. 

" You buy the American Museum ! " said a friend, 
who knew the state of my funds, " what do you intend 
buying it with ? " 

" Brass," I replied, " for silver and gold have I none." 
The Museum building belonged to Mr. Francis W. 
Olmsted, a retired merchant, to whom I wrote stating 
my desire to buy the collection, and that although I had 
no means, if it could, be purchased upon reasonable 
credit, I was confident that my tact and experience, 
added to a determined devotion to business, would en 
able me to make the payments when due. I therefore 
asked him to purchase the collection in his own name ; 
to give me a writing securing it to me provided I made 
the payments punctually, including the rent of his build 
ing ; to allow me twelve dollars and a half a week on 
which to support my family ; and if at any time I failed 
to meet the instalment due, I would vacate the premises 
and forfeit all that might have been paid to that date. 



112 AT THE FOOT QF THE LADDER 

" In fact, Mr. Olmsted," I continued in my earnestness, 
" you may bind me in any way, and as tightly as you 
please only give me a chance to dig out, or scratch 
out, and I will do so or forfeit all the labor and trouble 
I may have incurred." 

In reply to this letter, which I took to his house my 
self, he named an hour when I could call on him, and 
as I was there at the exact moment, he expressed him 
self pleased with my punctuality. He inquired closely 
as to my habits and antecedents, and I frankly narrated 
my experiences as a caterer for the public, mentioning 
my amusement ventures in Vauxhall Garden, the circus, 
and in the exhibitions I had managed at the South and 
West. 

" Who are your references ?" he inquired. 

" Any man in my line," I replied, " from Edmund 
Simpson, manager of the Park Theatre, or William 
Niblo, to Messrs. Welch, June, Titus, Turner, Angevine, 
or other circus or menagerie proprietors ; also Moses Y. 
Beach, of the New York Sun. 

" Can you get any of them to call on me ? " he con 
tinued. 

I told him that I could, and the next day my friend 
Niblo rode down and had an interview with Mr. Olm 
sted, while Mr. Beach and several other gentlemen also 
called, and the following morning I waited upon him 
for his decision. 

" I don t like your references, Mr. Barnum," said Mr. 
Olmsted, abruptly, as soon as I entered the room. 

I was confused, and said " I regretted to hear it." 

" They all speak too well of you," he added, laugh 
ing ; " in fact they all talk as if they were partners of 
yours, and intended to share the profits." 



AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER. 113 

Nothing could have pleased me better. He then 
asked me what security I could offer in case he concluded 
to make the purchase for me, and it was finally agreed 
that, if he should do so, he should retain the property till 
it was entirely paid for, and should also appoint a ticket- 
taker and accountant (at my expense), who should ren 
der him a weekly statement. I was further to take an 
apartment hitherto used as a billiard room in an adjoin 
ing building, allowing therefor, $500 a year, making a 
total rent of $3,000 per annum, on a lease of ten years. 
He then told me to see the administrator and heirs of 
the estate, to get their best terms, and to meet him on 
his return to town a week from that time. 

I at once saw Mr. John Heath, the administrator, and 
his price was $15,000. I offered $10,000, payable in 
seven annual instalments, with good security. After 
several interviews, it was finally agreed that I should 
have it for $12,000, payable as above possession to 
be given on the 15th November. Mr. Olmsted assented 
to this, and a morning was appointed to draw and sign 
the writings. Mr. Heath appeared, but said he must 
decline proceeding any farther in my case, as he had 
sold the collection to the directors of Peale s Museum 
(an incorporated institution), for $15,000, and had re 
ceived $1,000 in advance. 

I was shocked, and appealed to Mr. Heath s honor. 
He said that he had signed no writing with me ; was in 
no way legally bound, and that it was his duty to do the 
best he could for the heirs. Mr. Olmsted was sorry, 
but could not help me ; the new tenants would not re 
quire him to incur any risk, and my matter was at an 
end. 

Of course, I immediately informed myself as to the 



114 AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER 

character of Peale s Museum company. It proved to 
be a band of speculators who had bought Peale s col 
lection for a few thousand dollars, expecting to join the 
American Museum with it, issue and sell stock to the 
amount of $50,000, pocket $30,000 profits, and permit 
the stockholders to look out for themselves. 

I went immediately to several of the editors, including 
Major M. M. Noah, M. Y. Beach, my good friends 
West, Herrick and Ropes, of the Atlas, and others, and 
stated my grievances. " Now," said I, " if you will 
grant me the use of your columns, I ll blow that specu 
lation sky-high." They all consented, and I wrote a 
large number of squibs, cautioning the public against 
buying the Museum stock, ridiculing the idea of a board 
of broken-down bank directors engaging in the exhibi 
tion of stuffed monkey and gander skins ; appealing to 
the case of the Zoological Institute, which had failed 
by adopting such a plan as the one now proposed ; and 
finally I told the public that such a speculation would 
be infinitely more ridiculous than JJickens s " Grand 
United Metropolitan Hot Muffin and Crumpet-baking 
and Punctual Delivery Company." 

The stock was as " dead as a herring ! " I then went 
to Mr. Heath and asked him when the directors were to 
pay the other $14,000. " On the 26th day of Decem 
ber, or forfeit the $1,000 already paid," was the reply. 
I assured him that they would never pay it, that they 
could not raise it, and that he would ultimately find him 
self with the Museum collection on his hands, and if 
once I started off with an exhibition for the South, I 
would not touch the Museum at any price. " Now," 
said I, "if you will agree with me confidentially, that in 
case these gentlemen do not pay you on the 26th tf 



AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER. 115 

December, I may have it on the 27th for $12,000, I 
will run the risk, and wait in this city until that date." 
He readily agreed to the proposition, but said he was 
sure they would not forfeit their $1,000. 

" Very well," said I ; "all I ask of you is, that this 
arrangement shall not be mentioned." He assented. 
" On the 27th day of December, at ten o clock A. M., I 
wish you to meet me in Mr. Olmsted s apartments, pre 
pared to sign the writings, provided this incorporated 
company do not pay you $14,000 on the 26th." He 
agreed to this, and by my request put it in writing. 

From that moment I felt that the Museum was mine. 
I saw Mr. Olmsted, and told him so. He promised 
secrecy, and agreed to sign the documents if the other 
parties did not meet their engagement. 

This was about November 15th, and I continued my 
shower of newspaper squibs at the new company, which 
could not sell a dollar s worth of its stock. Meanwhile, 
if any one spoke to me about the Museum, I simply 
replied that I had lost it. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM. 

A TRAP SET FOR ME I CATCH THE TRAPPERS I BECOME PROPRIETOR OB 
THE AMERICAN MUSEUM HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT HARD WORK 
AND COLD DINNERS ADDITIONS TO THE MUSEUM EXTRAORDINARY ADVER 
TISING BARNUM S BRICK-MAN EXCITING PUBLIC CURIOSITY INCIDENTS 

AND ANECDOTES A DRUNKEN ACTOR IMITATIONS OF THE ELDER BOOTH 
PLEASING MY PATRONS SECURING TRANSIENT NOVELTIES LIVING CURIOSI 
TIES MAKING PEOPLE TALK A WILDERNESS OF WONDERS NIAGARA FALLS 
WITH REAL WATER THE CLUB THAT KILLED COOK SELLING LOUIS GAY- 
LORD CLARK THE FISH WITH LEGS THE FEJEE MERMAID HOW IT CAME 
INTO MY POSSESSION THE TRUE STORY OF THAT CURIOSITY JAPANESE 
MANUFACTURE OF FABULOUS ANIMALS THE USE I MADE OF THE MERMAID 
WHOLESALE ADVERTISING AGAIN THE BALCONY BAND DRUMMOND 
LIGHTS. 

MY newspaper squib war against the Peale combina 
tion was vigorously kept up ; when one morning, about 
the first of December, I received a letter from the Sec 
retary of that company (now calling itself the " New 
York Museum Company,") requesting me to meet the 
directors at the Museum on the following Monday morn 
ing. I went, and found the directors in session. The 
venerable president of the board, who was also the ex- 
president of a broken bank, blandly proposed to hire 
me to manage the united museums, and though I saw 
that he merely meant to buy my silence, I professed to 
entertain the proposition, and in reply to an inquiry as 
to what salary I should expect, I specified the sum of 
$3,000 a year. This was at once acceded to, the salary 
to begin January 1, 1842, and after complimenting me 
on my ability, the president remarked : " Of course, Mr. 
Burnum, we shall have no more of your squibs through 



THE AMERICAN MUSEUM. 117 

the newspapers " to which I replied that I should 
" ever try to serve the interests of my employers," and 
I took my leave. 

It was as clear to me as noonday that after buying 
my silence so as to appreciate their stock, these direct 
ors meant to sell out to whom they could, leaving me 
to look to future stockholders for my salary. They 
thought, no doubt, that they had nicely entrapped 
me, but I knew I had caught them. 

For, supposing me to be out of the way, and having 
no other rival purchaser, these directors postponed the 
advertisement of their stock to give people time to 
forget the attacks I had made on it, and they also 
took their own time for paying the money promised 
to Mr. Heath, December 26th indeed, they did not 
even call on him at the appointed time. But on 
the following morning, as agreed, I was promptly and 
hopefully at Mr. Olmstead s apartments with my legal 
adviser, at half-past nine o clock ; Mr. Heath came with 
his lawyer at ten, and before two o clock that day I was 
in formal possession of the American Museum. My 
first managerial act was to write and despatch the 
following complimentary note : 

AMERICAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK, Dec. 27, 1841. 

To the President and Directors of the New York Museum : 

GENTLEMEN : It gives me great pleasure to inform you that you are placed 
upon the Free List of this establishment until further notice. 

P. T. BABNUM, Proprietor. 

It is unnecessary to say that the " President of the 
New York Museum" was astounded, and when he 
called upon Mr. Heath, and learned that I had bought 
and was really in possession of the American Museum, 
lie was indignant. He talked of prosecution, and 
6 



118 THE AMEKICAN MUSEUM. 

demanded the f L,000 paid on his agreement, but he did 
not prosecute, and he justly forfeited his deposit money. 

And now that I was proprietor and manager of the 
American Museum I had reached a new epoch in my 
career which I felt was the beginning of better days, 
though the full significance of this important step I did 
not see. I was still in the show business, but in a settled, 
substantial phase of it, that invited industry and enter 
prise, and called for ever earnest and ever heroic 
endeavor. Whether I should sink or swim depended 
wholly upon my own energy. I must pay for the 
establishment within a stipulated time, or forfeit it with 
whatever I had paid on account. I meant to make it 
my own, and brains, hands and every effort were 
devoted to the interests of the Museum. 

The nucleus of this establishment, Scudder s Museum, 
was formed in 1810, the year in which I was born. It 
was begun in Chatham Street, and was afterwards 
transferred to the old City Hall, and from small begin 
nings, by purchases, and to a considerable degree by 
presents, it had grown to be a large and valuable 
collection. People in all parts of the country had sent 
in relics and rare curiosities ; sea captains, for years, 
had brought and deposited strange things from foreign 
lands ; and besides all these gifts, I have no doubt that 
the previous proprietor had actually expended, as was 
stated, $50,000 in making the collection. No one 
could go through the halls, as they were when they came 
under my proprietorship, and see one-half there was 
worth seeing in a single day; and then, as I always 
justly boasted afterwards, no one could visit my Museum 
and go away without feeling that he had received the 
full worth of his money. In looking over the immense 



.THE AMERICAN MUSEUM. 119 

collection, the accumulation of so many years, I saw 
that it was only necessary to properly present its merits 
to the public, to make it the most attractive and 
popular place of resort and entertainment in the United 
States. 

Valuable as the collection was when I bought it, it 
was only the beginning of the American Museum as I 
made it. In my long proprietorship I considerably 
more than doubled the permanent attractions and 
curiosities of the establishment. In 1842, 1 bought and 
added to my collection the entire contents of Peale s 
Museum ; in 1850, I purchased the large Peale collec 
tion in Philadelphia ; and year after year, I bought 
genuine curiosities, regardless of cost, wherever I could 
find them, in Europe or America. 

At the very outset, I was determined to deserve 
success. My plan of economy included the intention 
to support my family in New York on $600 a year, and 
my treasure of a wife not only gladly assented, but 
was willing to reduce the sum to $400, if necessary. 
Some six months after I had bought the Museum, Mr. 
Olmsted happened in at my ticket-office at noon and 
found me eating a frugal dinner of cold corned beef and 
bread, which I had brought from home. 

" Is this the way you eat your dinner? " he asked. 

" I have not eaten a warm dinner, except on Sun 
days," I replied, "since I bought the Museum, and 
I never intend to, on a week day, till I am out of 
debt." 

" Ah ! " said he, clapping me on the shoulder, " you 
are safe, and will pay for the Museum before the year is 
out." 

And he was right, for within twelve months I was in 



120 THE AMEEICAN MUSEUM. 

full possession of the property as my own and it was 
entirely paid for from the profits of the business. 

In 1865, the space occupied for my Museum pur 
poses was more than double what it was in 18i2. The 
Lecture Room, originally narrow, ill-contrived and incon 
venient, was so enlarged and improved that it became 
one of the most commodious and beautiful amusement 
halls in the City of New York. At first, my attractions 
and inducements were merely the collection of curiosi 
ties by day, and an evening entertainment, consisting of 
such variety performances as were current in ordinary 
shows. Then Saturday afternoons, and, soon after 
wards, Wednesday afternoons were devoted to entertain 
ments and the popularity of the Museum grew so rap 
idly that I presently found it expedient and profitable to 
open the great Lecture Room every afternoon, as well 
as every evening, on every week-day in the year. The 
first experiments in this direction, more than justified 
my expectations, for the day exhibitions were always 
more thronged than those of the evening. Of course I 
made the most of the holidays, advertising extensively 
and presenting extra inducements ; nor did attractions 
elsewhere seem to keep the crowd from coming to the 
Museum. On great holidays, I gave as many as twelve 
performances to as many different audiences. 

By degrees the character of the stage performances 
was changed. The transient attractions of the Museum 
were constantly diversified, and educated dogs, industri 
ous fleas, automatons, jugglers , ventriloquists, living 
statuary, tableaux, gipsies, Albinoes, fat boys, giants, 
dwarfs, rope-dancers, live " Yankees," pantomime, 
instrumental music, singing and dancing in great 
variety, dioramas, panoramas, models of Niagara, Dub- 



THE AMEEICAN MUSEUM. 121 

lin, Paris, and Jerusalem ; Hannington s dioramas of 
the Creation, the Deluge, Fairy Grotto, Storm at Sea ; 
the first English Punch and Judy in this country, Italian 
Fantoccini, mechanical figures, fancy glass-blowing, 
knitting machines and other triumphs in the mechanical 
arts ; dissolving views, American Indians, who enacted 
their warlike and religious ceremonies on the stage, 
these, among others, were all exceedingly successful. 

I thoroughly understood the art of advertising^ 
not merely by means of printer s ink, which I have 
always used freely, and to which I confess myself 
so much indebted for my success, but by turning every 
possible circumstance to my account. It was my mono 
mania to make the Museum the town wonder and town 
talk. I often seized upon an opportunity by instinct, 
even before I had a very definite conception as to how 
it should be used, and it seemed, somehow, to mature 
itself and serve my purpose. As an illustration, one 
morning a stout, hearty-looking man, came into my 
ticket-office and begged some money. I asked him 
why lie did not work and earn his living ? He replied 
that he could get nothing to do and that he would 
be glad of any job at a dollar a day. I handed him a 
quarter of a dollar, told him to go and get his breakfast 
and return, and I would employ him at light labor at a 
dollar and a half a day. When he returned I gave him 
five common bricks. 

" Now," said I, "go and lay a brick on the sidewalk 
at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street; another 
close by the Museum ; a third diagonally across the 
way at the corner of Broadway and Vesey Street, by 
the As tor House : put down the fourth on the sidewalk 
in front of St Paul s Church, opposite; then, with 



122 THE AMERICAN MUSEUM 

the fifth brick in hand, take up a rapid march from one 
point to the other, making the circuit, exchanging your 
brick at every point, and say nothing to any one." 

" What is the object of this ? " inquired the man. 

" No matter," I replied ; "all you need to know is 
that it brings you fifteen cents wages per hour. It is a 
bit of my fun, and to assist me properly you must seem 
to be as deaf as a post ; wear a serious countenance ; 
answer no questions ; pay no attention to any one ; but 
attend faithfully to the work and at the end of every 
hour by St. Paul s clock show this ticket at the Museum 
door ; enter, walking solemnly through every hall in 
the building ; pass out, and resume your work." 

With the remark that it was " all one to him, so long 
as he could earn his living," the man placed his bricks 
and began his round. Half an hour afterwards, at 
least five hundred people were watching his mysterious 
movements. He had assumed a military step and bear 
ing, and looking as sober as a judge, he made no 
response whatever to the constant inquiries as to the 
object of his singular conduct. At the end of the first 
hour, the sidewalks in the vicinity were packed with 
people all anxious to solve the mystery. The man, as 
directed, then went into the Museum, devoting fifteen 
minutes to a solemn survey of the halls, and afterwards 
returning to his round. This was repeated every hour 
till sundown and whenever the man went into the 
Museum a dozen or more persons would buy tickets and 
follow him, hoping to gratify their curiosity in regard 
to the purpose of his movements. This was continued 
for several days the curious people who followed the 
man into the Museum considerably more than paying 
his wages till finally the policeman, to whom I had 



THE AMEKICA3* MUSEUM. 123 

imparted my object, complained that the obstruction of 
the sidewalk by crowds had become so serious that I 
must call in my " brick man." This trivial incident 
excited considerable talk and amusement; it adver 
tised me ; and it materially advanced my purpose of 
making a lively corner near the Museum. 

I am tempted to relate some of the incidents and 
anecdotes which attended my career as owner and man 
ager of the Museum. The stories illustrating merely my 
introduction of novelties would more than fill this book, 
but I must make room for a few of them. 

An actor, named La Rue, presented himself as an 
imitator of celebrated histrionic personages, including 
Macready, Forrest, Kemble, the elder Booth, Kean, 
Hamblin, and others. Taking him into the green-room 
for a private rehearsal, and finding his imitations excel 
lent, I engaged him. For three nights he gave great 
satisfaction, but early in the fourth evening he staggered 
into the Museum so drunk that he could hardly stand, 
and in half an hour he must be on the stage ! Calling 
an assistant, we took La Eue between us, and marched 
him up Broadway as far as Chambers Street, and back 
to the lower end of the Park, hoping to sober him. At 
this point we put his head under a pump, and gave him 
a good ducking, with visible beneficial effect, then a 
walk around the Park, and another ducking, when he 
assured me that he should be able to give his imitations 
" to a charm." 

" You drunken brute," said I, " if you fail, and disap 
point my audience, I will throw you out of the window." 

He declared that he was " all right," and I led him 
behind the scenes, where I waited with considerable 
trepidation to watch his movements on the stage. He 
began by saying : 



124 THE AMEEICAK MUSEUM. 

" Ladies and gentlemen : I will now give you an imi 
tation of Mr. Booth, the eminent tragedian." 

His tongue was thick, his language somewhat incohe 
rent, and I had great misgivings as he proceeded ; but 
as no token of disapprobation came from the audience, 
I began to hope he would go through with his parts 
without exciting suspicion of his condition. But before 
he had half finished his representation of Booth, in the 
soliloquy in the opening act of Richard III., the house 
discovered that he was very drunk, and began to hiss. 
This only seemed to stimulate him to make an effort to 
appear sober, which, as is usual in such cases, only made 
matters worse, and the hissing increased. I lost all 
patience, and going on the stage and taking the drunken 
fellow by the collar, I apologized to the audience, as 
suring them that he should not appear before them 
again. I was about to march him off, when he stepped 
to the front, and said : 

" Ladies and gentlemen : Mr. Booth often appeared 
on the stage in a state of inebriety, and I was simply 
giving you a truthful representation of him on such 
occasions. I beg to be permitted to proceed with my 
imitations." 

The audience at once supposed it was all right, and 
cried out, " go on, go on" ; which he did, and at every 
imitation of Booth, whether as Bi chard-, Shylock, or Sir 
Giles Overreach, he received a hearty round of applause. 
I was quite delighted with his success ; but when he 
came to imitate Forrest and Hamblin, necessarily repre 
senting them as drunk also, the audience could be no 
longer deluded ; the hissing was almost deafening, and 
I was forced to lead the actor off. It was his last ap 
pearance on my stage. 



THE AMEEICAK MUSEUM. 125 

From the first, it was my study to give my patrons a 
superfluity of novelties, and for this I make no special 
claim to generosity, for it was strictly a business trans 
action. To send away my visitors more than douhly 
satisfied, was to induce them to come again and to bring 
their friends. I meant to make -people talk about my 
Museum ; to exclaim over its wonders ; to have men 
and women all over the country say : " There is not 
another place in the United States where so much can 
be seen for twenty-five cents as in Barnum s American 
Museum." It was the best advertisement I could possibly 
have, and one for which I could afford to pay. I knew, 
too, that it was an honorable advertisement, because 
it was as deserved as it was spontaneous. And so, in 
addition to the permanent collection and the ordinary 
attractions of the stage, I labored to keep the Museum 
well supplied with transient novelties ; I exhibited 
such living curiosities as a rhinoceros, giraffes, grizzly 
bears, ourang-outangs, great serpents, and whatever else 
of the kind money would buy or enterprise secure. 

Knowing that a visit to my varied attractions and gen 
uine curiosities was w r ell worth to any one three times 
the amount asked as an entrance fee, I confess that I 
was not so scrupulous, as possibly I should have been, 
about the methods used to call public attention to my 
establishment. The one end aimed at was to make men 
and women think and talk and wonder, and, as a practi 
cal result, go to the Museum. This was my constant 
study and occupation. 

It was the world s way then, as it is now, to excite 

the community with flaming posters, promising almost 

everything for next to nothing. I confess that I took no 

pains to set my enterprising fellow-citizens a better ex- 

6* 



126 THE AMERICAN MUSEUM. 

ample. I fell in with the world s way ; and if my " puff 
ing" was more persistent, my advertising more audacious, 
my posters more glaring, my pictures more exaggerated, 
my flags more patriotic and my transparencies more 
brilliant than they would have been under the manage 
ment of my neighbors, it was not because I had less 
scruple than they, but more energy, far more ingenuity, 
and a better foundation for such promises. In all this, 
if I cannot be justified, I at least find palliation in the 
fact that I presented a wilderness of wonderful, instruct 
ive and amusing realities of such evident and marked 
merit that I have yet to learn of a single instance where 
a visitor went away from the Museum complaining that 
he had been defrauded of his money. Surely this is an 
offset to any eccentricities to which I may have resorted 
to make my establishment widely known. 

Very soon after introducing my extra exhibitions, I 
purchased for $200, a curiosity which had much merit 
and some absurdity. It was a model of Niagara Falls, 
in which the merit was that the proportions of the great 
cataract, the trees, rocks, and buildings in the vicinity 
were mathematically given, while the absurdity was in 
introducing " real water " to represent the falls. Yet 
the model served a purpose in making " a good line in 
the bill " an end in view which was never neglected 
and it helped to give the Museum notoriety. One 
day I was summoned to appear before the Board of Cro- 
ton Water Commissioners, and was informed that as 
I paid only $25 per annum for water at the Museum, 
I must pay a large extra compensation for the supply 
for my Niagara Falls. I begged the board not to be 
lieve all that appeared in the papers, nor to interpret 
my show-bills too literally, and assured them that a 



AMERICAN MUSEUM. 127 

single barrel of water, if my pump was in good order, 
would furnish my falls for a month. 

It was even so, for the water flowed into a reservoir 
behind the scenes, and was forced back with a pump 
over the falls. On one occasion, Mr. Louis Gaylord 
Clark, the editor * of the Knickerbocker , came to 
view my museum, and introduced himself to me. As 
I was quite anxious that my establishment should 
receive a first-rate notice at his hands, I took pains to 
show him everything of interest, except the Niagan 
Falls, which I feared would prejudice him against mv 
entire show. But as we passed the room the pump 
was at work, warning, me that the great cataract was 
in full operation, and Clark, to my dismay, insisted 
upon seeing it. 

" Well, Barnum, I declare, this is quite a new idea; 
I never saw the like before." 

" No I " I faintly inquired, with something like re 
viving hope. 

" No," said Clark, " and I hope, with all my heart , 
I never shall again." 

But the Knickerbocker spoke kindly of me, and 
refrained from all allusions to " the Cataract of Niagara, 
with real water." Some months after, Clark came in 
breathless one day, and asked me if I had the club with 
which Captain Cook was killed? As I had a lot of 
Indian war clubs in the collection of aboriginal curiosi 
ties, and owing Clark something on the old Niagara 
Falls account, I told him I had the veritable club with 
documents which placed its identity beyond question, 
and I showed him the warlike weapon. 

" Poor Cook ! poor Cook ! " said Clark, musingly. 
" Well, Mr. Barnum," he continued, with great gravity, 



128 THE AMERICAN MUSEUM. 

at the same time extending his hand and giving mine a 
hearty shake, " I am really very much obliged to you 
for your kindness. I had an irrepressible desire to see 
the club that killed Captain Cook, and I felt quite con 
fident you could accommodate me. I have been in half 
a dozen smaller museums, and as they all had it, I was 
sure a large establishment like yours would not be with 
out it." 

A few weeks afterwards, I wrote to Clark that if he 
would come to my office I was anxious to consult him 
on a matter of great importance. He came, and I 
said : 

" Now, I do n t want any of your nonsense, but I want 
your sober advice." 

He assured me that he would serve me in any way in 
his power, and I proceeded to tell him about a wonder 
ful fish from the Nile, offered to me for exhibition at 
$100 a week, the owner of which was willing to 
forfeit $5.000, if, within six weeks, this fish did not 
pass through a transformation in which the tail would 
disappear and the fish would then have legs. 

" Is it possible ! " asked the astonished Clark. 

I assured him that there was no doubt of it. 

Thereupon he advised me to engage the wonder 
at any price ; that it would startle the naturalists, wake 
up the whole scientific world, draw in the masses, and 
make 20,000 for the Museum. I told him that I 
thought well of the speculation, only I did not like the 
name of the fish. 

" That makes no difference whatever," said Clark ; 
^ what is the name of the fish?" 

" Tadpole," I replied with becoming gravity, " but it 
is vulgarly called { polly wog. " 



THE AMEEICAN MUSEUM. 129 

" Sold, by thunder ! " exclaimed Clark, and he left. 

A curiosity, which in an extraordinary degree served 
my ever-present object of extending the notoriety of the 
Museum was the so-called " Fejee Mermaid." It has 
been supposed that this mermaid was manufactured by 
my order, but such is not the fact. I was known as a 
successful showman, and strange things of every sort 
were brought to me from all quarters for sale or exhibi 
tion. In the summer of 1842, Mr. Moses Kimball, of 
the Boston Museum, came to New York and showed 
me what purported to be a mermaid. He had bought 
it from a sailor whose father, a sea captain, had pur 
chased it in Calcutta, in 1822, from some Japanese 
sailors. I may mention here that this identical pre 
served specimen was exhibited in London in 1822, as I 
fully verified in my visit to that city in 1858, for I found 
an advertisement of it in an old file of the London 
Times, and a friend gave me a copy of the Mirror, pub 
lished by J. Limbird, 335*Strand, November 9, 1822, 
containing a cut of this same creature and two pages of 
letter-press describing it, together with an account of 
other mermaids said to have been captured in different 
parts of the world. The Mirror stated that this 
specimen was " the great source of attraction in the 
British metropolis, and three to four hundred people 
every day pay their shilling to see it." 

This was the curiosity which had fallen into Mr. 
Kimb all s hands. I requested my naturalist s opinion of 
the genuineness of the animal and he said he could not 
conceive how it could have been manufactured, for he 
never saw a monkey with such peculiar teeth, arms, 
hands, etc., and he never saw a fish with such peculiar 
fins; but he did not believe in mermaids. Neverthe- 



130 THE AMERICAN MUS^YM. 

less, I concluded to hire this curiosity and to modify the 
general incredulity as to the possibility of the existence 
of mermaids, and to awaken curiosity to see and 
examine the specimen, I invoked the potent power of 
printer s ink. 

Since Japan has been opened to the outer world 
it has been discovered that certain " artists " in that 
country manufacture a great variety of fabulous animals, 
with an ingenuity and mechanical perfection well 
calculated to deceive. No doubt my mermaid was a 
specimen of this curious manufacture. I used it mainly 
to advertise the regular business of the Museum, 
and this effective indirect advertising is the only feature 
I can commend, in a special show of which, I confess, I 
am not proud. I might have published columns in the 
newspapers, presenting and praising the great collection 
of genuine specimens of natural history in my exhi 
bition, and they would not have attracted nearly so 
much attention as did a few paragraphs about the mer 
maid which was only a small part of my show. News 
papers throughout the country copied the mermaid 
notices, for they were novel and caught the attention of 
readers. Thus was the fame of the Museum, as well 
as the mermaid, wafted from one end of the land to the 
other. I was careful to keep up the excitement, for 
I knew that every dollar sown in advertising would 
return in tens, and perhaps hundreds, in a future 
harvest, and after obtaining all the notoriety possible by 
advertising and by exhibiting the mermaid at the 
Museum, I sent the curiosity throughout the country, 
directing my agent to everywhere advertise it as 
"From Barnum s Great American Museum, New 
York." The effect was immediately felt ; money flowed 



THE AMEEICAN MUSEUM. 131 

in rapidly and was readily expended in more adver 
tising. 

While I expended money liberally for attractions for 
the inside of my Museum, and bought or hired every 
thing curious or rare which was offered or could be 
found, I was prodigal in my outlays to arrest or arouse 
public attention. When I became proprietor of the 
establishment, there were only the words : " American 
Museum," to indicate the character of the concern ; 
there was no bustle or activity about the place ; no 
posters to announce what was to be seen ; the whole 
exterior was as dead as the skeletons and stuffed skins 
within. My experiences had taught me the advantages 
of advertising. I printed whole columns in the papers, 
setting forth the wonders of my establishment. Old 
" fogies" opened their eyes in amazement at a man who 
could expend hundreds of dollars in announcing a show 
of " stuffed monkey skins"; but these same old fogies 
paid their quarters, nevertheless, and when they saw 
the curiosities and novelties in the Museum halls, they, 
like all other visitors, were astonished as well as pleased, 
and went home and told their friends and neighbors and 
thus assisted in advertising my business. 

For other and not less effective advertising, flags 
and banners, began to adorn the exterior of the build 
ing. I kept a band of music on the front balcony and 
announced " Free Music for the Million." People said. 
" Well, that Barnum is a liberal fellow to give us music 
for nothing," and they flocked down to hear my out 
door free concerts. But I took pains to select and 
maintain the poorest band I could find one whose 
discordant notes would drive the crowd into the Museum, 
out of earshot of my outside orchestra. Of course, 



132 THE AMERICAN MUSEUM. 

the music was poor. When people expect to get 
" something for nothing they are sure to be cheated, 
and generally deserve to be, and so, no doubt, some of 
my out-door patrons were sorely disappointed ; but 
when they came inside and paid to be amused and 
instructed, I took care to see that they not only received 
the full worth of their money, but were more than sat 
isfied. Powerful Drummond lights were placed at the 
top of the Museum, which, in the darkest night, threw a 
flood of light up and down Broadway, from the Battery 
to Niblo s, that would enable one to read a newspaper 
in the street. These were the first Drummond lights 
ever seen in New York, and they made people talk, 
and so advertise my Museum. 






CHAPTER IX. 

THE ROAD TO EICHES. 

THE MOST POPULAR PLACE OF AMUSEMENT EN THE WORLD THE MORAL 

JYRAMA REFORMING THE ABUSES OF THE STAGE FAMOUS ACTOKS AND 
ACTRESSES AT THE MUSEUM ADDING TO THE SALOONS AFTERNOON AND 
HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES FOURTH OF JULY FLAGS THE MUSEUM CONNECT 
ED WITH 8T PAUL S VICTORY OVER THE VESTRYMEN THE EGRESS ST. 
PATRICK S DAY EN THE MORNING A WONDERFUL ANIMAL, THE 
"AIGRZSS" INPOURING OF MONEY ZOOLOGICAL ERUPTION THE CITY 
ASTOUNDED BABY SHOWS, AND THEER OBJECT FLOWER, BIRD, DOG AND 

POULTRY SHOWS GRAND FREE BUFFALO HUNT EN HOBOKEN N. P. 

WILLIS ~- THE WOOLLY HORSE WHERE HE CAME FROM COLONEL BENTON 
BRATEN PURPOSE OF THE EXHTBmON AMERICAN INDIANS P. T. BARNUM 
EXHIBITED A CURIOUS SPINSTER THE TOUCHING STORY OF CHARLOTTE 
TEMPLE SERVICES EN THE LECTURE ROOM A FINANCIAL VIEW OF TUB 
MUSEUM AX "AWFUL RICH MAN." 

THE American Museum was the ladder by which I 
rose to fortune. Whenever I cross Broadway at the 
head of Vesey Street, and see the Herald building and 
that gorgeous pile, the Park Bank, my mind s eye 
recalls that less solid, more showy edifice which once 
occupied the site and was covered with pictures of all 
manner of beasts, birds and creeping things, and in 
which were treasures that brought treasures and 
notoriety and pleasant hours to me. The Jenny Lind 
enterprise was more audacious, more immediately 
remunerative, and I remember it with a pride which I 
do not attempt to conceal : but instinctively I often go 
back and live over again the old days of my struggles 
and triumphs in the American Museum. 

The Museum was always open at sunrise, and this 
was so well known throughout the country that stran- 



134 THE ROAD TO RICHES. 

gers coming to the city would often take e> tour through 
my halls before going to breakfast or to their hotels. I 
do not believe there was ever a more truly popular 
place of amusement. I frequently compared the 
annual number of visitors with the number officially 
reported as visiting (free of charge), the British 
Museum in London, and my list was invariably the 
larger. Nor do I believe that any man or manager 
ever labored more industriously to please his patrons. 
I furnished the most attractive exhibitions which money 
could procure ; I abolished all vulgarity and profanity 
from the stage, and I prided myself upon the fact that 
parents and children could attend the dramatic perform 
ances in the so-called Lecture Room, and not be 
shocked or offended by anything they might see or hear ; 
I introduced the " Moral Drama," producing such 
plays as "The Drunkard," "Uncle Tom s Cabin." 
" Moses in Egypt," " Joseph and His Brethren," and 
occasional spectacular melodramas produced with great 
care and at considerable outlay. 

Mr. Sothern, who has since attained such wide-spread 
celebrity at home and abroad as a character actor, was 
a member of my dramatic company for one or two sea 
sons. Mr. Barney Williams also began his theatrical 
career at the Museum, occupying, at first, quite a sub 
ordinate position, at a salary of ten dollars a week. 
During the past twelve or fifteen years, I presume his 
weekly receipts, when he has acted, have been nearly 
$3,000. The late Miss Mary Gannon also commenced 
at the Museum, and many more actors and actresses of 
celebrity have been, from time to time, engaged there. 
What was once the small Lecture Room was converted 
into a spacious and beautiful theatre, extending over 



THE HO AD TO ETCHES. 135 

the lots adjoining the Museum, and capable of holding 
about three thousand persons. The saloons were greatly 
multiplied and enlarged, and the " egress " having been 
made to work to perfection, on holidays I advertised 
Lecture Room performances every hour through the 
afternoon and evening, and consequently the actors and 
actresses were dressed for the stage as early as eleven 
o clock in the morning, and did not resume their ordi 
nary clothes till ten o clock at night. In these busy days 
the meals for the company were brought in and served 
in the dressing-rooms and green-rooms, and the com 
pany always received extra pay. 

Leaving nothing undone that would bring Barnum 
and his Museum before the public, I often engaged 
some exhibition, knowing that it would directly bring 
no extra dollars to the treasury, but hoping that it would 
incite a newspaper paragraph which would float through 
the columns of the American press and be copied, per 
haps, abroad, and my hopes in this respect were often 
gratified. 

I confess that I liked the Museum mainly for the 
opportunities it afforded for rapidly making money. 
Before I bought it, I weighed the matter well in my 
mind, and was convinced that I could present to the 
American public such a variety, quantity and quality of 
amusement, blended with instruction, " all for twenty- 
five cents, children half price," that my attractions 
would be irresistible, and my fortune certain. I myself 
relished a higher grade of amusement, and I was a fre 
quent attendant at the opera, first-class concerts, lectures, 
and the like ; but I worked for the million, and I knew 
the only way to make a million from my patrons was to 
give them abundant and wholesome attractions for a 
small sum of money. 



136 THE EOAD TO BICHES. 

About the first of July, 1842, I began to make 
arrangements for extra novelties, additional perform 
ances, a large amount of extra advertising, and an out 
door display for the " Glorious Fourth." Large parti 
colored bills were ordered, transparencies were prepared, 
the free band of music was augmented by a trumpeter, 
and columns of advertisements, headed with large capi 
tals, were written and put on file. 

I wanted to run out a string of American flags across 
the street on that day, for I knew there would be thou 
sands of people passing the Museum with leisure and 
pocket-money, and I felt confident that an unusual 
display of national flags would arrest their patriotic 
attention, and bring many of them within my walls. 
Unfortunately for my purpose, St. Paul s Church stood 
directly opposite, and there was nothing to which I 
could attach my flag-rope, unless it might be one of the 
trees in the church-yard. I went to the vestrymen for 
permission to so attach my flag rope on the Fourth of 
July, and they were indignant at what they called my 
" insulting proposition " ; such a concession would be 
" sacrilege." I plied them with arguments, and ap 
pealed to their patriotism, but in vain. 

Returning to the Museum I gave orders to have the 
string of flags made ready, with directions at daylight 
on the Fourth of July to attach one end of the rope to 
one of tbe third story windows of the Museum, and the 
other end to a tree in St. Paul s churchyard. The great 
day arrived, and my orders were strictly followed. The 
flags attracted great attention, and before nine o clock I 
have no doubt that hundreds of additional visitors were 
drawn by this display into the Museum. By half-past 
nine Broadway was thronged, and about that time two 



THE BO AD TO RICHES. 137 

gentlemen in a high state of excitement rushed into my 
office, announcing themselves as injured and insulted 
vestrymen of St. Paul s Church. 

"Keep cool, gentlemen," said I; "I guess it is all 
right." 

"Eight!" indignantly exclaimed one of them, "do 
you think it is right to attach your Museum to our 
Church ? We will show you what is right and what 
is law, if we live till to-morrow ; those flags must come 
down instantly." 

" Thank you," I said, " but let us not be in a hurry. 
I will go out with you and look at them, and I guess 
we can make it all right." 

Going into the street I remarked : " Really, gentle 
men, these flags look very beautiful ; they do not injure 
your tree ; I always stop my balcony music for your ac 
commodation whenever you hold week-day services, and 
it is but fair that you should return the favor." 

" We could indict your music, as you call it, as a 
nuisance, if we chose," answered one vestryman, " and 
now I tell you that if these flags are not taken down 
in ten minutes, I will cut them down." 

His indignation was at the boiling point. The crowd 
in the street was dense, and the angry gesticulation of 
the vestryman attracted their attention. I saw there 
was no use in trying to parley with him or coax him, 
arid so, assuming an angry air, I rolled up my sleeves, 
i and exclaimed, in a loud tone, 

" Well, Mister, I should just like to see you dare 
to cut down the American flag on the Fourth of July ; 
you must be a Britisher to make such a threat as 
that ; but I ll show you a thousand pairs of Yankee 
hands in two minutes, if you dare to attempt to take 



138 THE BO AD TO RICHES. 

down the stars and stripes on this great birth-day 
of American freedom ! " 

" What s that John Bull a-saying," asked a brawny 
fellow, placing himself in front of the irate vestryman ; 
" Look here, old fellow," he continued, " if you want to 
save a whole bone in your body, you had better slope, 
and never dare to talk again about hauling down 
the American flag in the city "of New York." 

Throngs of excited, exasperated men crowded around, 
and the vestryman, seeing the effect of my ruse, 
smiled faintly and said, " Oh, of course it is all right," 
and he and his companion quietly edged out of the 
crowd. The flags remained up all day and all night. 
The next morning I sought the vanquished vestrymen 
and obtained formal permission to make this use of the 
tree on following holidays, in consideration of my 
willingness to arrest the doleful strains of my discord 
ant balcony band whenever services were held on week 
days in the church. 

On that Fourth of July, at one o clock, P. M., my 
LIuseum was so densely crowded that we could admit 
no more visitors, and we were compelled to stop the sale 
of tickets. I pushed through the throng until I reached 
the roof of the building, hoping to find room for a few 
more, but it was in vain. Looking down into the street 
it was a sad sight to see the thousands of people 
who stood ready with their money to enter the Museum, 
but who were actually turned away. It was exceed 
ingly harrowing to my feelings. Eushing down stairs, 
I told my carpenter and his assistants to cut through 
the partition and floor in the rear and to put in a 
temporary flight of stairs so as to let out people by that 
egress into Ann Street. By three o clock the egress 



THE BO AD TO RICHES. 139 

was opened and a few people were passed down the 
new stairs, while a corresponding number came in 
at the front. But I lost a large amount of money that 
day by not having sufficiently estimated the value of 
my own advertising, and consequently not having pro 
vided for the thousands who had read my announce 
ments and seen my outside show, and had taken the 
first leisure day to visit the Museum. I had learned 
one lesson, however, and that was to have the egress 
ready on future holidays. 

Early in the following March, I received notice from 
some of the Irish population that they meant to visit 
me in great numbers on " St. Patrick s day in the morn 
ing." " All right," said I to my carpenter, " get your 
egress ready for March 17 "; and I added, to my assistant 
manager: "If there is much of a crowd, don t let a 
single person pass out at the front, even if it were St. 
Patrick himself; put every man out through the egress 
in the rear." The day came, and before noon we were 
caught in the same dilemma as we were on the Fourth of 
July ; the Museum was jammed and the sale of tickets was 
stopped. I went to the egress and asked the sentinel 
how many hundreds had passed out] 

" Hundreds," he replied, " why only three persons 
have gone out by this way and they came back, saying 
that it was a mistake and begging to be let in again." 

"What does this mean?" I inquired ; " surely thou 
sands of people have been all over the Museum since 
they came in." 

" Certainly," was the reply, " but after they have 
gone from one saloon to another and have been on 
every floor, even to the roof, they come down and 
travel the same route over again." 

i. 



110 THE KOAD TO RICHES. 

At this time I espied a tall Irish woman with two 
good-sized children whom I had happened to notice 
when they came in early in the morning." 

" Step this way, madam," said I politely, "yon will 
never be able to get into the street by the front door 
without crushing these dear children. We have opened 
a large egress here and yon can pass by these rear stairs 
into Ann Street and thus avoid all danger;" 

" Sure," replied tl^e woman> indignantly, " an I m not 
going out at all, at all, nor the children aither, for we ve 
brought our dinners and we are going to stay all day." 

Further investigation showed that pretty much all 
<*f my visitors had brought their dinners with the 
evident intention of literally " making a day of it." No 
one expected to go home till night ; the building was 
overcrowded, and meanwhile hundreds were waiting at 
/he front entrance to get in when, they could. In 
despair I sauntered upon the- stage behind the scenes, 
biting my lips with vexation, when I happened to see 
the scene-painter at work -and a happy thought struck 
me : " Here," I exclaimed, " take a piece of canvas four 
feet square, and paint on it, as soon as you can, in large 
letters 

SSF-TO THE EGRESS." 

Seizing his brush he finished the sign in fifteen minutes, 
and I directed the carpenter to nail it ov.er the door 
leading to the back stairs.. .He did so, and as the 
crowd, after making the entire tour of the establish^ 
ment, came pouring down the main stairs from the 
third story, -.they stopped and looked at the new sign, 
while some of them read audibly: " To the Aigress." 

" The Aigress," said others, " sure: that s an animal 
we have n t seen, and the throng began to pour down 



THE KOAD TO RICHES. 

the back stairs only to find that the " Aigress " was the 
elephant, and that the elephant was all out o doors, or 
so much of it as began with Ann Street. Meanwhile, 
I began to accommodate those who had long been 
waiting with their money at the Broadway entrance. 

Notwithstanding my continual outlays for additional 
novelties and attractions, or rather I might say, because 
of these outlays, money poured in upon me so rapidly 
that I was sometimes actually embarrassed to devise 
means to carry out my original plan for laying out the 
entire profits of the first year in advertising. I meant 
to sow first and reap afterwards. I finally hit upon a 
plan which cost a large sum, and that was to prepare 
large oval oil paintings to be placed between the windows 
of the entire building, representing nearly every impor 
tant animal known in zoology. These paintings were 
put on the building in a single night, and so complete 
a transformation in the appearance of an edifice is 
seldom witnessed. When the living stream rolled 
down Broadway the next morning and reached the 
Astor House corner, opposite the Museum, it seemed 
to meet with a sudden check. I . never before saw 
so many open mouths and astonished eyes. .Some 
people were puzzled to know what it all meant ; some 
looked as if they thought it was an enchanted palace 
that had suddenly sprung up ; others exclaimed, 
"Well, the animals all seem to have broken out last 
night," and hundreds came in to see how the establish 
ment suryived the sudden eruption. At all events, 
from that morning the Museum receipts took a jump 
forward of nearly a hundred dollars a day, and they 
never fell back again. Strangers would .look at this 
great pictorial magazine and argue that an establish- 



THE ROAD TO RICHES. 

ment with so many animals on the outside must have 
something on the inside, and in they would go to see. 
Inside, I took particular pains to please and astonish 
these strangers, and when they went back to the 
country, they carried plenty of pictorial bills and 
lithographs, which I always lavishly furnished, and thus 
the fame of Barnum s Museum became so widespread, 
that people scarcely thought of visiting the city 
without going to my establishment. 

In fact, the Museum had become an established insti 
tution in the land. Now and then some one would cry 
out " humbug" and " charlatan," but so much the bet 
ter for me. It helped to advertise me, and I was 
willing to bear the reputation and I engaged queer 
curiosities, and even monstrosities, simply to add to the 
notoriety of the Museum. 

Dr. Valentine will be remembered by many as a man 
who gave imitations and delineations of eccentric charac 
ters. He was quite a card at the Museum when I first 
purchased that establishment, and before I introduced 
dramatic representations into the " Lecture Room." 
His representations were usually given as follows : A 
small table was placed in about the centre of the stage ; 
a curtain reaching to the floor covered the front and two 
ends of the table ; under this table, on little shelves and 
hooks, were placed caps, hats, coats, wigs, moustaches, 
curls, cravats, and shirt collars, and all sorts of gear for 
changing the appearance of the upper portion of the 
person. Dr. Valentine would seat himself in a chair 
behind the table, and addressing his audience, would 
state his intention to represent different peculiar char 
acters, male and female, including the Yankee tin 
peddler ; " Tabitha Twist," a maiden lady ; " Sam Slick, 



THE ROAD TO EICHES. 143 

Jr.," the precocious author ; " Solomon Jenkins," a crusty 
old bachelor, with a song ; the down-east school-teacher 
with his refractory pupils, with many other characters ; 
and he simply asked the indulgence of the audience for 
a few seconds between each imitation, to enable him to 
stoop down behind the table and " dress " each character 
appropriately. 

The Doctor himself was a most eccentric character. 
He was very nervous, and was always fretting lest 
his audience should be composed of persons who 
would not appreciate his " imitations." During one of 
his engagements the Lecture Room performances con 
sisted of negro minstrelsy and Dr. Valentine s imita 
tions. As the minstrels gave the entire first half of 
the entertainment, the Doctor would post himself at the 
entrance to the Museum to study the character of the 
visitors from their appearance. He fancied that he was 
a great reader of character in this way, and as most 
of my visitors were from the country, the Doctor, after 
closely perusing their faces, would decide that they 
were not the kind of persons who would appreciate 
his efforts, and this made him extremely nervous. 
When this idea was once in his head, it took complete 
possession of the poor Doctor, and worked him up into 
a nervous excitement which it was often painful to 
behold. Every country-looking face was a dagger to 
the Doctor, for he had a perfect horror of exhibiting to 
an unappreciative audience. When so much excited 
that he could stand at the door no longer, the disgusted 
Doctor would come into my office and pour out his 
lamentations in this wise : 

" There, Barnum, I never saw such a stupid lot of 
country bumpkins in my life. I shan t be able to get a 



144 THE EOAD TO INCHES. 

smile out of them. I had rather be horse-whipped 
than attempt to satisfy an audience who have not 
got the brains to appreciate me. Sir, mine is a highly 
intellectual entertainment, and none but refined and 
educated persons can comprehend it." 

" Oh, I think you will make them laugh some, 
Doctor," I replied. 

" Laugh, sir, laugh ! why, sir, they have no laugh in 
them, sir ; and if they had, your devilish nigger min 
strels would get it all out of them before I com 
menced." 

" Do n t get excited, Doctor," I said ; " you will please 
the people." 

"Impossible, sir! I was a fool to ever permit my 
entertainment to be mixed up with that of nigger sing 



ers." 



" But you could not give an ,entire entertainment sat 
isfactorily to the public ; they want more, variety." 

" Then you should have got something , more refined, 
sir. Why, one of those cursed nigger breakdowns 
excites your audience so they don t want to hear a word 
from me. At all events, I ought to commence the enter 
tainment and let the niggers finish up. I tell you, Mr. 
Barnum, I won t stand it ! I would rather go to the 
poor-house. I won t stay here over a fortnight longer ! 
It is killing me ! " 

} In this excited state the Doctor would go upon the 
stage, dressed very neatly in a suit of black. Address 
ing a few pleasant words to the audience, he would 
then take a seat behind his little table, and with abroad 
smile covering his countenance would ask the audience 
to excuse him a few seconds, and he would appear as 
"Tabitha Twist," a literary spinster of . fifty-five. On 



THE BO AD TO RICHES. 145 

these occasions I was usually behind the scenes, stand 
ing at one of the wings opposite the Doctor s table, 
where I could see and hear all that occurred "behind 
the curtain." The moment the Doctor was down behind 
the table, a wonderful change came over that smiling 
countenance. 

" Blast this infernal, stupid audience! they would 
not laugh to save the city of New York ! " said the 
Doctor, while he rapidly slipped on a lady s cap and a 
pair of long curls. Then, while arranging a lace 
handkerchief around his shoulders, he would grate 
his teeth and curse the Museum, its manager, the 
audience and everybody else. The instant the hand 
kerchief was pinned, the broad smile would come upon 
his face, and up would go his head and shoulders show 
ing to the audience a rollicking specimen of a good- 
natured old maid. 

" How do you do, ladies and gentlemen ? You all know 
me, Tabitha Twist, the happiest maiden in the village ; 
always laughing. Now, I ll sing you one of my pret 
tiest songs." 

The mock maiden would then sing a lively, funny 
ditty, followed by faint applause, and down would bob 
the head behind the table to prepare for a presentation , 
of " Sam Slick, junior." 

^ " Curse such a set of fools" (off goes the cap, fol 
lowed by the curls). " They think it s a country Sunday 
school " (taking off the lace handkerchief). " I expect 
they will hiss me next, the donkeys " (on goes a light 
wig of long, flowing hair). " I wish the old Museum 
was sunk in the Atlantic " (puts on a Yankee round- 
jacket, and broadbrimmed hat). " I never will be caught 
in this infernal place, curse it;" up jump head and 



14:6 t CCHE ROAD TO RICHES, 

shoulders of the Yankee, and Sam Slick, junior, sings 
out a merry 

"Ha! ha! why, folks, how de dew. Darn glad to 
&ee you, by hokey ; I came down here to have lots of 
fun, for you know I always believe we must laugh and 
grow fat." 

After five minutes of similar rollicking nonsense, 
down would bob the head again, and the cursing, 
swearing, tearing, and teeth-grating would commence, 
and continue till the next character appeared to the 
audience, bedecked with smiles and good-humor. 

On several occasions I got up " Baby shows," at 
which I paid liberal prizes for the finest baby, the 
fattest baby, the handsomest twins, for triplets, and so 
on. I always gave several months notice of these 
intended shows and limited the number of babies at 
each exhibition to one hundred. Long before the 
appointed time, the list would be full and I have known 
many a fond mother to weep bitterly because the time 
for application was closed and she could not have the 
opportunity to exhibit her beautiful baby. These shows 
were as popular as they were unique, and while they 
paid in a financial point of view, my chief object in 
getting them up was to set the newspapers to talking 
about me, thus giving another blast on the trumpet 
which I always tried to keep blowing for the Museum. 
Flower shows, dog shows, poultry shows and bird shows, 
were held at intervals in my establishment and in each 
instance the same end was attained as by the baby 
shows. I gave prizes in the shape of medals, money 
and diplomas and the whole came back to me four-fold 
in the shape of advertising. 

There was great difficulty, however, in awarding the 



THE BO AD TO BICHE&, 147 

principal prize of $100 at the baby shows. Every 
mother thought her own baby the brightest and best, and 
confidently expected the capital prize. 

For where was ever seen the mother 
Would give her baby for another? 

Not foreseeing this when I first stepped into the 
expectant circle and announced in a matter of fact way 
that a committee of ladies had decided upon the baby of 
Mrs. So and So as entitled to the leading prize, I was 
ill-prepared for the storm of indignation that arose on 
every side. Ninety-nine disappointed, and as they 
thought, deeply injured, mothers made common cause 
and pronounced the successful little one the meanest, 
homeliest baby in the lot, and roundly abused me and my 
committee for our stupidity and partiality. "Very 
well, ladies," said I in the first instance, " select a com 
mittee of your own and I will give another $100 prize 
to the baby you shall pronounce to be the best specimen." 
This was only throwing oil upon flame ; the ninety-nine 
confederates were deadly enemies from the moment and 
no new babies were presented in competition for the 
second prize. Thereafter, I took good care to send in 
a written report and did not attempt to announce the 
prize in person. 

At the first exhibition of the kind, there was a vague, 
yet very current rumor, that in the haste of departure 
from the Museum several young mothers had exchanged 
babies (for the babies Avere nearly all of the same age 
and were generally dressed alike) and did not discover 
the mistake till they arrived home and some such con 
versation as this occurred between husband and wife : 

" Did our baby take the prize ? " 

" No ! the darling was cheated out of it." 



148 THE KO AD TO RICHES. 

" Well, why did n t you bring home the same baby you 
carried to the Museum ] " 

I am glad to say that I could not trace this cruel 
rumor to an authentic source. 

In June 1843, a herd of yearling buffaloes was on 
exhibition in Boston. I bought the lot, brought them 
to New Jersey, hired the race course at Hoboken, char 
tered the ferry-boats for one day, and advertised that a 
hunter had arrived with a herd of buffaloes I was 
careful not to state their age and that August 3 1st 
there would be a " Grand Buffalo Hunt " on the Hobo- 
ken race course all persons to be admitted free of 
charge. 

The appointed day was warm and delightful, and no 
less than twenty-four thousand people crossed the North 
River in tl;e ferry-boats to enjoy the cooling breeze and 
to see the " Grand Buffalo Hunt." The hunter was 
dressed as an Indian, and mounted on horseback ; he 
proceeded to show how the wild buffalo is captured 
w T ith a lasso, but unfortunately the yearlings would not 
run till the crowd gave a great shout, expressive at once 
of derision and delight at the harmless humbug. This 
shout started the young animals into a weak gallop and 
the lasso was duly thrown over the head of the largest 
calf. The crowd roared with laughter, listened to my 
balcony band, which I also furnished " free," and then 
started for New York, little dreaming who was the 
author of this sensation, or what was its object. 

Mr. N. P. Willis, then editor of the Home Journal, 
wrote an article illustrating the perfect good nature with 
which the American public submit to a clever humbug. 
He said that he went to Hoboken to witness the Buffalo 
Hunt. It was nearly four o clock when the boat left 



THE ROAD TO KICHES. 

the foot of Barclay Street, and it was so densely 
crowded that many persons were obliged to stand on the 
railings and hold on to the awning posts. When they 
reached the Hoboken side a boat equally crowded was 
coming out of the slip. The passengers just arriving 
cried out to those who were coming away, " Is the 
Buffalo Hunt over 1 ?" To which came the reply, "Yes, 
and it was the biggest humbug you ever heard of!" 
Willis added that passengers on the boat with him 
instantly gave three cheers for the author of the 
humbug, whoever he might be. 

After the public had enjoyed a laugh for several days 
over the Hoboken " Free Grand Buffalo Hunt," I per 
mitted it to be announced that the proprietor of the 
American Museum was responsible for the joke, thus 
using the buffalo hunt as a sky-rocket to attract public 
attention to my Museum. The object was accomplished 
and although some people cried out " humbug," I had 
added to the notoriety which I so much wanted and I 
was satisfied. As for the cry of " humbug," it never 
harmed me, and I was in the position of the actor who 
had much rather be roundly abused than not to be 
noticed at all. I ought to add, that the forty-eight 
thousand sixpences the usual fare received for 
ferry fares, less what I paid for the charter of the 
boats on that one day, more than remunerated me for 
the cost of the buffaloes and the expenses of the 
" hunt," and the enormous gratuitous advertising of the 
Museum must also be placed to my credit. 

With the same object that is, advertising my Mu 
seum, I purchased, for $500, in Cincinnati, Ohio, a 
" Woolly Horse " I found on exhibition in that city. It 
was a well formed, small sized horse, with no mane. 



150 THE ROAD TO RICHES. 

and not a particle of hair on his tail, while his entire 
body and legs were covered with thick, fine hair or 
wool, which curled tight to his skin. This horse was 
foaled in Indiana, and was a remarkable freak of nature, 
and certainly a very curious looking animal. 
I had not the remotest idea, when I bought this horse, 
what I should do with him ; but when the news came 
that Colonel John C. Fremont (who was supposed to 
have been lost in the snows of the Rocky Mountains) 
was in safety, the " Woolly Horse " was exhibited in 
New York, and was widely advertised as a most re 
markable animal that had been captured by the great 
explorer s party in the passes of ike Eocky Mountains. 
The exhibition met with only moderate success in New 
York, ,and in several Northern provincial towns, and 
the show would have -fallen -flat in Washington, had it 
not been for the over-zeal of Colonel Thomas H. Ben- 
ton, then a United States Senator from Missouri. He 
went to the show, and then caused the arrest of my 
agent for obtaining twenty-five cents from him under 
" false pretences." No mention had been made of this 
curious animal in any letter he had received from his 
son-in-law, Colonel John C. Fremont, and therefore the 
Woolly Horse had not been captured by any of Fre 
mont s party. The reasoning was hardly as sound as 
were most of the arguments of " Old Bullion," and the 
case was dismissed. After a few days of merriment, 
public curiosity no longer turned in that direction, and 
the old horse was permitted to retire to private life. 
My object in the exhibition, however, was fully attained. 
When it was generally known that the proprietor of the 
American Museum was also the owner of the famous 
" Woolly Horse," it caused yet more talk about me 



THE KO AD TO EICHES. 151 

and my establishment, and visitors began to say that 
they would give more to see the proprietor of the Mu 
seum than to view the entire collection of curiosities. 
As for my ruse in advertising the " Woolly Horse " as 
having been captured by Fremont s exploring party, of 
course the announcement neither added to nor took 
from the interest, of the exhibition ; but it arrested pub 
lic attention, and it was the only feature of the show 
that I now care to forget. 

It will be seen that very much of the success which 
attended my many years proprietorship of the Amer 
ican Museum was due to advertising, and especially 
to my odd methods of advertising. Always claiming 
that I had curiosities worth sho.wing and worth seeing, 
and exhibited " dog cheap" at cc twenty-five cents admis 
sion, children half price "-T- I studied ways to arrest 
public attention .; to startle, to make people talk and 
wonder ; in short,, to let the world know that I had a; 
Museum. 

About this time, I engaged a band of Indians from 
Iowa. They had never seen a railroad or steamboat 
until they saw them on the route from Iowa to New 
York. Of course they were wild and had but faint 
ideas of civilization. The party comprised large and 
noble specimens of the untutored savage, as well as 
several very beautiful squaws, with two or three inter 
esting " papooses." They lived and lodged in a large 
room on the top floor of the Museum, and cooked their 
own victuals in their own way. They gave their war- 
dances on the stage in the Lecture Room with great 
vigor and enthusiasm, much to the satisfaction of the 
audiences. But these wild Indians seemed to consider 
their dances as realities. Hence when they gave a real 



152 THE EOAD TO EICHES. 

War Dance, it was dangerous for any parties, 
except their manager and interpreter, to be on the 
stage, for the moment they had finished their war 
dance, they began to leap and peer about behind the 
scenes in search of victims for their tomahawks and 
scalping knives ! Indeed, lest in these frenzied 
moments they might make a dash at the orchestra or 
the audience, we had a high rope barrier placed 
between them and the savages on the front of the stage. 

After they had been a week in the Museum, I pro 
posed a change of performance for the week following, 
by introducing new dances. Among these was 
the Indian Wedding Dance. At that time I printed but 
one set of posters (large bills) per week, so that what 
ever was announced for Monday, was repeated every 
day and evening during that week. Before the 
Wedding Dance came off on Monday afternoon, I was 
informed that I was to provide a large new red woollen 
blanket, at a cost of ten dollars, for the bridegroom 
to present to the father of the bride. I ordered the 
purchase to be made ; but was considerably taken 
aback, when I was informed that I must have another 
new blanket for the evening, inasmuch as the savage 
old Indian Chief, father-in-law to the bridegroom, 
would not consent to his daughter s being approached 
with the Wedding Dance unless he had his blanket 
present. 

I undertook to explain to the chief, through the inter 
preter, that this was only a " make believe " wedding ; 
but the old savage shrugged his shoulders, and gave such 
a terrific " Ugh ! " that I was glad to make my peace 
by ordering another blanket. As we gave two perform 
ances per day, I was out of pocket $120 for twelve 
* wedding blankets," that week, 



THE EOAt) TO BICHES. 153 

One of the beautiful squaws named Do-humme died in 
the Museum. She had been a great favorite with many 
ladies, among whom I can especially name Mrs. C. M. 
Sawyer, wife of the Eev. Dr. T. J. Sawyer. Do-humme 
was buried on the border of Sylvan Water, at Greenwood 
Cemetery, where a small monument, erected by her 
friends, designates her last resting place. 

The poor Indians were very sorrowful for many days, 
and desired to get back again to their western wilds. 
The father and the betrothed of Do-humme cooked 
various dishes of food and placed them upon the roof 
of the Museum, where they believed the spirit of their 
departed friend came daily for its supply ; and these 
dishes were renewed every morning during the stay of 
the Indians at the Museum. 

It was sometimes very amusing to hear the remarks 
of strangers who came to visit my Museum. One after 
noon a prim maiden lady from Portland, Maine, walked 
into my private office, where I was busily engaged in 
writing, and taking a seat on the sofa she asked: 

" Is this Mr. Barnum ? " 

" It is," I replied. 

" Is this Mr. P. T. Barnum, the proprietor of the 
Museum I " she asked. 

" The same," was my answer. 

" Why, really, Mr. Barnum," she continued, " you 
look much like other common folks, after all." 

I remarked that I presumed I did ; but I could not help 
it, and I hoped she was not disappointed at my appear 
ance. 

" Oh, no," she said ; " I suppose I have no right to 
be disappointed, but I have read and heard so much 
about you and your Museum that I was quite prepared 
to be astonished." 



154 THE ROAD TO ETCHES, 

I asked her if she had been through the establish 
ment. 

" I have," she replied ; " I came in immediately after 
breakfast ; I have been here ever since, and, I can say I 
think with the Queen of Sheba, that the half had not 
been told me. But, Mr. Barnum," she: continued, " I have 
long felt a desire to see you ; I wanted to attend when 
you lectured on temperance in Portland, but I had a 
severe cold and could not go out." 

" Do you like my collection as well as you do the one 
in the Boston Museum ? " I asked. 

" Dear me ! Mr. Barnum," said she, " I never went 
to any Museum before, nor to any place of amusement 
or public entertainment, excepting our school exhibi 
tions ; and I have sometimes felt that they even may be 
wicked, /or some parts of the dialogues seemed frivo 
lous ; but I have heard so much of your moral drama 
and the great good you are doing for the rising genera 
tion that I thought I must corne here and see for 
myself." 

" We represent the pathetic story of Charlotte Tem 
ple in the Lecture Room to-day," I remarked, with an 
inward chuckle at the peculiarities of my singular visi 
tor, who, although she was nearly fifty years of age> 
had probably never been in an audience of a hundred 
persons, unless it might be at a school exhibition, or in 
Sunday school, or in church. 

, " Indeed ! I am quite familiar with the sad history of 
Miss Temple, and I think I can derive, great consolation 
from witnessing the representation of the touching 
story." 

At this moment the gong sounded to announce the 
opening of the Lecture Room, and the crowd passed on 



THE BO AD TO EICHES. 155 

in haste to secure seats. My spinster visitor sprang to 
her feet and anxiously inquired : 

" Are the services about to commence "? " 

"Yes," I replied, "the congregation is now going 
up." 

She marched along with the crowd as demurely as if 
she was going to a funeral. After she was seated, I 
watched her, and in the course of the play I noticed 
that she was several times so much overcome as to be 
moved to tears. She was very much affected, and when 
the " services " were over, without seeking another in 
terview with me, she went silently and tearfully away. 

One day, two city boys who had thoroughly explored 
the wonders of the Museum, on .their way out passed 
the open door of my private office, and seeing me sitting 
there, one of them exclaimed to his companion : 

" There ! That s Mr. Barnum." 

" No ! is it ? " asked the other, and then with his mind 
full of the glories of the stuifed gander-skins, and other 
wealth which had been displayed to his wondering eyes 
in the establishment, he summed up his views of the 
vastness and value of the whole collection, and its fortu 
nate proprietor in a single sentence : 

" Well, he s an awful rich old cuss, ain t he ! " 

Those boys evidently took a strictly financial view of 
the establishment. 



CHAPTER X. 

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

?E ALE S MUSEUM MYSTERIOUS MESMERISM YANKEE HILL HENRY BENNETT 
THE RIVAL MUSEUMS THE ORPHEAN AND ORPHAN FAMILIES THE FUDG- 
EE MERMAID BUYING OUT MY RIVAL RUNNING OPPOSITION TO MYSELF 
ABOLISHING THEATRICAL NUISANCES NO CHECKS AND NO BAR THE 
MUSEUM MY MANIA MY FIRST INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES S. STRATTON 
GENERAL TOM THUMB IN NEW YORK RE-ENGAGEMENT AN APT PUPIL- 
FREE FROM DEBT THE PROFITS OF TWO YEARS IN SEARCH OF A NEW 
FIELD STARTING FOR LIVERPOOL THE GOOD SHIP "YORKSHIRE" MY 
PARTY ESCORT TO SANDY HOOK THE VOYAGE A TOBACCO TRICK A 
BRAGGING JOHN BULL OUTWITTED ARRIVAL AT LIVERPOOL A GENTLEMAN 
BEGGAR MADAME CELESTE CHEAP DWARFS TWO-PENNY SHOWS EXHI 
BITION OF GENERAL TOM THUMB IN LIVERPOOL FIRST-CLASS ENGAGEMENT 
FOR LONDON. 

THE president and directors of the " New York 
Museum Company " not only failed to buy the American 
Museum as they confidently expected to do, but, after 
my newspaper squib war and my purchase of the 
Museum, they found it utterly impossible to sell their 
stock. By some arrangement, the particulars of which 
I do not remember, if, indeed, I ever cared to know 
them, Mr. Peale was conducting Peale s Museum which 
he claimed was a more " scientific " establishment than 
mine, and he pretended to appeal to a higher class of 
patrons. Mesmerism was one of his scientific attrac 
tions, and he had a subject upon whom he operated at 
times with the greatest seeming success, and fairly 
astonished his audiences. But there were times when 
the subject was wholly unimpressible and then those 
who had paid their money to see the woman put into 
the mesmeric state cried out" humbug," and the reputa 
tion of the establishment seriously suffered. 



ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 157 

j 

It devolved upon me to open a rival mesmeric per 
formance, and accordingly I engaged a bright little girl 
who was exceedingly susceptible to such mesmeric influ 
ences as I could induce. That is, she learned her 
lesson thoroughly, and when I had apparently put her 
to sleep with a few passes and stood behind her, she 
seemed to be duly " impressed " as I desired ; raised 
her hands as I willed ; fell from her chair to the floor ; 
and if I put candy or tobacco into my mouth, she was 
duly delighted or disgusted. She never failed in these 
routine performances. Strange to say, believers in 
mesmerism used to witness her performances with the 
greatest pleasure and adduce them as positive proofs 
that there was something in mesmerism, and they 
applauded tremendously up to a certain point. 

That point was reached, when leaving the girl 
"asleep," I called up some one in the audience, promis 
ing to put him " in the same state " within five minutes, 
or forfeit fifty dollars. Of course, all my "passes" 
would not put any man in the mesmeric state ; at the ( 
end of three minutes he was as wide awake as ever. 

"Never mind," I would say, looking at my watch; 
" I have two minutes more, and meantime, to show that 
a person in this state is utterly insensible to pain, I pro 
pose to cut off one of the fingers of the little girl who is 
still asleep." I would then take out my knife and feel 
of the edge, and when I turned around to the girl whom 
I left on the chair she had fled behind the scenes to the 
intense amusement of the greater part of the audience 
and to the amazement of the mesmerists who were 
present. 

Why ! where s my little girl 1" I asked with feigned 
astonishment. 



158 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

" Oh ! she ran away when you began to talk about 
cutting off fingers." 

" Then she was wide awake, was she I " 

" Of course she was, all the time." 

" I suppose so ; and, my dear sir, I promised that you 
should be in the same state at the end of five min 
utes, and as I believe you are so, I do not forfeit fifty 
dollars." 

I kept up this performance for several weeks, till I 
quite killed Peale s " genuine " mesmerism in the rival 
establishment. After Peale, " Yankee " Hill undertook 
the management of that Museum, but in a little while 
he failed. It was then let to Henry Bennett, who 
reduced the entrance price to one shilling, - a half 
price which led me to characterize his concern as 
"cheap and nasty," and he began a serious rivalry 
with my Museum. His main reliances were burlesques 
and caricatures of whatever novelties I was exhibiting ; 
thus, when I advertised an able company of vocalists, 
well-known as the Orphean Family, Bennett announced 
the " Orphan Family ; " my Fejee Mermaid he offset 
with a figure made of a monkey and codfish joined 
together and called the " Fudg-ee Mermaid." These 
things created some laughter at my expense, but they 
also served to advertise my Museum. 

When the novelty of this opposition died away, 
Bennett did a decidedly losing business. I used to send 
a man with a shilling to his place every night and I 
knew exactly how much he was doing and what were 
his receipts. The holidays were coming and might tide 
him over a day or two, but he was at the very bottom 
and I said to him, one day: 

" Bennett, if you can keep open one. week after 
New Year s I will give you a hundred dollars." 



.ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 159 

He made every effort to win the money, and even 
went to the landlord and offered him the entire 
receipts for a week if he would only let him stay 
there ; but he would not do it, and the day after New 
Year s, January 2, 1843, Bennett shut up shop, hav 
ing lost his last dollar and even failing to secure 
the handsome premium I offered him. 

The entire collection fell into the hands of the land 
lord for arrearages of rent, and I privately purchased 
it for $7,000 cash, hired the building, and secretly 
engaged Bennett as my agent. We ran a very spirited 
opposition for a long time and abused each other ter 
ribly in public. It was very amusing when actors 
and performers failed to make terms with one of us 
and went to the other, carrying from one to the other 
the price each was willing to pay for an engagement. 
We thus used to hear extraordinary stories about each 
other s "liberal terms," but between 1 the two we man 
aged to secure such persons as we wanted at about 
the rates at which their services were really worth. 
While these people were thus running from one man 
ager to the other, supposing we were rivals, Bennett said 
to me one day : 

" You and I are like a pair of shears; we seem to 
cut each other, but we only cut what comes between." 

I ran my opposition long enough to beat myself. It 
answered every purpose, however, in awakening pub 
lic attention to my Museum, and was an advantage in 
preventing others from starting a genuine opposition. 
At the end of six months, the whole establishment, 
including the splendid gallery of American portraits, was 
removed to the American Museum and I immediately 
advertised the great card of a " Double attraction " and 
" Two Museums in One," without extra charge. 



160 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

A Museum proper obviously depends for patronage 
largely upon country people who visit the city with 
a worthy curiosity to see the novelties of the town. As 
I had opened a dramatic entertainment in connection 
with my curiosities, it was clear that I must adapt 
my stage to the wants of my country customers. 
While I was disposed to amuse my provincial patrons, I 
was determined that there should be nothing in my estab 
lishment, where many of my visitors would derive their 
first impressions of city life, that could contaminate 
or corrupt them. At this period, it was customary 
to tolerate very considerable license on the stage. 
Things were said and done and permitted in theatres 
that elsewhere would have been pronounced highly 
improper. The public seemed to demand these things, 
and it is an axiom in political economy, that the demand 
must regulate the supply. But I determined, at the 
start, that, let the demand be what it might, the Museum 
dramatic entertainments should be unexceptionable on 
the score of morality. 

i nave already mentioned some of the immediate 
reforms 1 made in the abuses of the stage. I went 
farther, and, at the risk of some pecuniary sacrifice, 
I abolished what was common enough in other theatres, 
even the most " respectable," and was generally known 
as the " third tier." Nor was a bar permitted on my 
premises. To be sure, I had no power to prevent my 
patrons from going out between the acts and getting 
liquor if they chose to do so, and I gave checks, as 
is done in other theatres, and some of my city customers 
availed themselves of the opportunity to go out for 
drinks and return again. Practically, then, it was much 
the same as if I had kept a bar in the Museum, and so 



ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 161 

I abolished the check business. There was great 
reason to apprehend that such a course would rob me 
of the patronage of a considerable class of play-goers, 
but I rigidly adhered to the new rule, and what I may 
have lost in money, I more than gained in the greater 
decorum which characterized my audiences. 

The Museum became a mania with me and I made 
everything possible subservient to it. On the eve of 
elections, rival politicians would ask me for whom I 
was going to vote, and my answer invariably was, 
" I vote for the American Museum." In fact, at that 
time, I cared very little about politics, and a great 
deal about my business. Meanwhile the Museum 
prospered wonderfully, and everything I attempted 
or engaged in seemed at the outset an assured suc 
cess. 

The giants whom I exhibited from time to time 
were always literally great features in my establish 
ment, and they oftentimes afforded me, as well as my 
patrons, food for much amusement as well as wonder. 
The Quaker giant, Hales, was quite a wag in his way. 
He went once to see the new house of an acquaint 
ance who had suddenly become rich, but who was a 
very ignorant man. When he came back he described 
the wonders of the mansion and said that the proud 
proprietor showed him everything from basement to 
attic ; parlors, bed-rooms, dining room, and," said Hales, 
" what he called his c study meaning, I suppose, the 
place where he intends to study his spelling-book ! " 

I had at one time two famous men, the French giant, 
M. Bihin, a very slim man, and the Arabian giant, 
Colonel Goshen. These men generally got on together 
very well, though, of course, each was jealous of the 

8 



162 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

other, and of the attention the rival received, or the 
notice he attracted. One day they quarrelled, and a 
lively interchange of compliments ensued, the Ara 
bian calling the Frenchman a " Shanghai," and receiving 
in return the epithet of " Nigger." From words both 
were eager to proceed to blows, and both ran to my 
collection of arms, one seizing the club with which 
Captain Cook or any other man might have been killed, 
if it were judiciously wielded, and the other laying hands 
on a sword of the terrific size which is supposed to have 
been conventional in the days of the Crusades. The 
preparations for a deadly encounter, and the high words 
of the contending parties brought a dozen of the 
Museum attaches to the spot, and these men threw 
themselves between the gigantic combatants. Hearing 
the disturbance, I ran from my private office to the 
duelling ground, and said : 

" Look here ! This is all right ; if you want to fight 
each other, maiming and perhaps killing one or both of 
you, that is your affair; but my interest lies here you 
are both under engagement to me, and if this duel is to 
come off, I and the public have a right to participate. 
It must be duly advertised, and must take place on the 
stage of the Lecture Room. No performance of yours 
would be a greater attraction, and if you kill each 
other, our engagement can end with your duel." 

This proposition, made in apparent earnest, so de 
lighted the giants that they at once burst into a laugh, 
shook hands, and quarrelled no more. 

I now come to the details of one of the most interest 
ing, as well as successful, of all the show enterprises in 
which I have engaged one which not only taxecj. all 
my ingenuity and industry, but which gave unqualified 



ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 163 

delight to thousands of people on two continents and 
put enormous sums of money into many pockets besides 
my own. 

In November, 1842, 1 was in Albany on business, and 
as the Hudson River was frozen over, I returned to 
New York by the Housatonic Railroad, stopping one 
night at Bridgeport, Connecticut, with my brother, 
Philo F. Barnum, who at that time kept the Franklin 
Hotel. I had heard of a remarkably small child in 
Bridgeport, and, at my request, my brother brought him 
to the hotel. He was not two feet high ; he weighed 
less than sixteen pounds, and was the smallest child I 
ever saw that could walk alone ; but he was a perfectly 
formed, bright-eyed little fellow, with light hair and 
ruddy cheeks and he enjoyed the best of health. He was 
exceedingly bashful, but after some coaxing he was 
induced to talk with me, and he told me that he was the 
son of Sherwood E. Stratton, and that his own name 
was Charles S. Stratton. After seeing him and talking 
with him, I at once determined to secure his services 
from his parents and to exhibit him in public. 

But as he was only five years of age, to exhibit him 
as a "dwarf" might provoke the inquiry " How do you 
know he is a dwarf? " Some liberty might be taken 
with the facts, but even with this license, I felt that 
the venture was only an experiment, and I engaged 
him for four weeks at three dollars a week, with all 
travelling and boarding charges for himself and his mother 
at my expense. They came to New York, Thanks 
giving day, December 8, 1842, and Mrs. Stratton was 
greatly surprised to see her son announced on my 
Museum bills as " General Tom Thumb." 

I took the greatest pains to educate and train my 



164 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

diminutive prodigy, devoting many hours to the task by 
day and by night, and I was very successful, for he 
was an apt pupil with a great deal of native talent, and 
a keen sense of the ludicrous. He made rapid progress 
in preparing himself for such performances as I wished 
him to undertake and he became very much attached to 
his teacher. 

When the four weeks expired, I re-engaged him for 
one year at seven dollars a week, with a gratuity of fifty 
dollars at the end of the engagement, and the privilege 
of exhibiting him anywhere in the United States, in 
which event his parents were to accompany him and 
I was to pay all travelling expenses. He speedily 
became a public favorite, and, long before the year was 
out, I voluntarily increased his weekly salary to twenty- 
five dollars, and he fairly earned it. Sometimes I 
exhibited him for several weeks in succession at the 
Museum, and when I wished to introduce other 
novelties I sent him to different towns and cities, 
accompanied by my friend, Mr. Fordyce Hitchcock, 
and the fame of General Tom Thumb soon spread 
throughout the country. 

Two years had now elapsed since I bought the 
Museum and I had long since paid for the entire 
establishment from the profits ; I had bought out my 
only rival ; I was free from debt, and had a handsome 
surplus in the treasury. The business had long ceased 
to be an experiment ; it was an established success and 
was in such perfect running order, that it could safely 
be committed to the management of trustworthy and tried 
agents. 

Accordingly, looking for a new field for my individ 
ual efforts, I entered into an agreement for General 



ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 165 

Tom Thumb s services for another year, at fifty dollars a 
week and all expenses, with the privilege of exhibiting 
him in Europe. I proposed to test the curiosity of men 
and women on the other side of the Atlantic. Much 
as I hoped for success, in my most sanguine moods, I 
could not anticipate the half of what was in store for 
me ; I did not foresee nor dream that I was shortly to 
be brought in close contact with kings, queens, lords 
and illustrious commoners, and that such association, 
by means of my exhibition, would afterwards introduce 
me to the great public and the public s money, which 
was to fill my coffers. Or, if I saw some such future, 
it was dreamily, dimly ; and with half-opened eyes, 
as the man saw the " trees walking." 

After arranging my business affairs for a long absence, 
and making every preparation for an extended foreign 
tour, on Thursday, January 18, 1844, I went on board 
the new and fine sailing ship " Yorkshire," Captain D. 
G. Bailey, bound for Liverpool. Our party included 
General Tom Thumb, his parents, his tutor, and Profes 
sor Guillaudeu, the French naturalist. We were accom 
panied by several personal friends, and the City Brass 
Band kindly volunteered to escort us to Sandy Hook. 

My name has been so long associated with mirthful 
incidents that I presume many persons do not suppose 
I am susceptible of sorrowful, or even sentimental emo 
tions ; but when the bell of the steamer that towed our 
ship down the bay announced the hour of separation, 
and then followed the hastily-spoken words of farewell, 
tind the parting grasp of friendly hands, I confess that 
I was very much in the "melting mood," and when the 
band played " Home, Sweet Home," I was moved to 
tears. 



166 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

A voyage to Liverpool is now an old, familiar story, 
and I abstain from entering into details, though I have 
abundant material respecting my own experiences of 
my first sea-voyage in the first two of a series of one 
hundred letters which I wrote in Europe as correspon 
dent of the New York Atlas. But some of the incidents 
and adventures of my voyage on the u Yorkshire" are 
worth transcribing in these pages of my personal his 
tory. 

Occasional calms and adverse winds protracted our 
passage to nineteen days, but a better ship and a more 
competent captain never sailed. I was entirely exempt 
from sea-sickness, and enjoyed the voyage very much. 
Good fellowship prevailed among the passengers, the 
time passed rapidly, and we had a good deal of fun on 
board. 

Several of the passengers were English merchants 
from Canada and one of the number, who reckoned 
himself "A, No. l,"and often hinted that he was too 
cute for any Yankee, boasted so much of his shrewd 
ness that a Yankee friend of mine confederated with 
me to test it. I thought of an old trick and arranged 
with my friend to try it on the boastful John Bull. 
Coming out of my state-room, with my hand to my face, 
and apparently in great pain, I asked my fellow passen 
gers what was good for the tooth-ache My friend and 
confederate recommended heating tobacco, and holding 
it to my face. I therefore borrowed a little tobacco, 
and putting it in a paper of a peculiar color, placed it 
on the stove to warm. I then retired for a few 
minutes, during which time the Yankee proposed play 
ing a trick on me by emptying the tobacco, and filling 
the paper with ashes, which our smart Englishman 



ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

thought would be a very fine joke, and he himself 
made the substitution, putting ashes into the paper and 
throwing the tobacco into the fire. 

I soon reappeared and gravely placed the paper to 
my face to the great amusement of the passengers and 
walked up and down the cabin as if I was suffering 
terribly. At the further end of the cabin I slyly ex 
changed the paper for another in my pocket of the 
same color and containing tobacco and then walked back 
again a picture of misery. Whereupon, the Merry 
Englishman cried out : 

" Mr. Barnum, what have you got in that paper \ " 

" Tobacco," I replied. 

" What will you bet it is tobacco I " said the English 
man. 

" Oh, don t bother me," said I ; " my tooth pains me 
sadly ; I know it is tobacco, for I put it there myself." 

" 111 bet you a dozen of champagne that it is not 
tobacco," said the Englishman. 

" Nonsense," I replied, " I will not bet, for it would 
not be fair ; I know it is tobacco." 

"I ll bet you fifty dollars it is not," said John Bull, 
and he counted ten sovereigns upon the table. 

" I ll not bet the money," I replied, for I tell you I 
know it is tobacco ; I placed it there myself." 

" You dare not bet ! " he rejoined. 

At last, merely to accommodate him, I bet a dozen of 
champagne. The Englishman fairly jumped with 
delight, and roared out : 

" Open the paper ! open the paper ! " 

The passengers crowded round the table in great glee 
to see me open the paper, for all but the Yankee 
thought I was taken in. I quietly opened the paper, 
and remarked : 



168 A^OTHEB SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

" There, I told you it was tobacco how foolish you 
were to suppose it was not for, as I told you, I put 
it there myself." 

The passengers, my confederate excepted, were 
amazed and the Englishman was absolutely astounded. 
It was the biter bitten. But he told the steward to 
bring the champagne, and turning to my confederate 
who had so effectually assisted in " selling " him, he 
pronounced the affair " a contemptible Yankee trick." 
It was several days before he recovered his good 
humor, but he joined at last with the rest of us in 
laughing at the joke, and we heard no more about his 
extraordinary shrewdness. 

On our arrival at Liverpool, quite a crowd had assem 
bled at the dock to see Tom Thumb, for it had been 
previously announced that he would arrive in the 
" Yorkshire," but his mother managed to smuggle him 
ashore- unnoticed, for she carried him, as if he was 
an infant, in her arms. We went to the Waterloo 
Hotel, and, after an excellent dinner, walked out to take 
a look at the town. While I was viewing the Nelson 
monument a venerable looking, well-dressed old gentle 
man volunteered to explain to- me the different devices 
and inscriptions. I looked upon him as a disinterested 
and attentive man of means who was anxious to assist a 
stranger and to show his courtesy ; but when I gave him 
a parting bow of thanks, half ashamed that I had so tres 
passed on his kindness, he put out the hand of a beg 
gar and said that he would be thankful for any remu 
neration I saw fit to bestow upon him for his trouble. 1 
was certainly astonished, and I thrust a shilling into his 
hand and walked rapidly away. 

In the evening of the same day, a tall, raw-boned 



ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 169 

man came to the hotel and introduced himself to me as 
a brother Yankee, who would be happy in pointing out 
the many wonders in Liverpool that a stranger would 
be pleased to see. 

I asked him how long he had been in Liverpool, and 
he replied, " Nearly a week." I declined his proffered 
services abruptly, remarking that if he had been there 
only a week, 1 probably knew as much about England 
as he did. 

" Oh," said he, " you are mistaken. I have been in 
England before, thougb never till recently in Liver 
pool." 

" What part of England?" I inquired. 

" Opposite Niagara Falls," he replied ; " I spent 
several days there with the British soldiers." 

I laughed in his face, and reminded him that England 
did not lie opposite Niagara Falls. The impudent 
fellow was confused for a moment, and then triumph 
antly exclaimed: 

"I didn t mean England. I know what country 
it is as well as you do." 

" Well, what country is it ? " I asked, quite assured 
that he did not know. 

" Great Britain, of course," he replied. 

It is needless to add that the honor of his company 
as a guide in Liverpool was declined, and he went 
off apparently in a huff because his abilities were not 
appreciated. 

Later in the evening, the proprietor of a cheap wax 
works show, at three ha pence admission, called upon 
me. He had heard of the arrival of the great American 
curiosity, and he seized the earliest opportunity to 
make the General and myself the magnificent offer of 



170 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

ten dollars a week if we would join ourselves to his 
already remarkable and attractive exhibition. I could 
not but think, that dwarfs must be literally at a " low 
figure " in England, and my prospects were gloomy 
indeed. I was a stranger in the land ; my letters of 
introduction had not been delivered ; beyond my own 
little circle, I had not seen a friendly face, nor heard 
a familiar voice. I was "blue," homesick, almost in 
despair. Next morning, there came a ray of sunshine 
in the following note : 

" Madame CELESTE presents her compliments to Mr. Barmim, and begs to say 
that her private box is quite at his service, any night, for himself and friends. 

"Theatre Royal, Williamson Square." 

jfjsqy I ; * ; f)ou(|-.n oil >iLs r i wj>M/L v:&v<.[*\t) 

This polite invitation was thankfully accepted, and 
we went to the theatre that evening. Our party, in 
cluding the General, who was partly concealed by his 
tutor s cloak, occupied Celeste s box, and in the box 
adjoining sat an English lady and gentleman whose 
appearance indicated respectability, intelligence and 
wealth. The General s interest in the performance 
attracted their attention, and the lady remarked to me : 

" What an intelligent-looking child you have ! He 
appears to take quite an interest in the stage." 

"Pardon me, madam," said I, "this is not a child. 
This is General Tom Thumb." 

"Indeed!" they exclaimed. They had seen the 
announcements of our visit and were greatly gratified 
at an interview with the pigmy prodigy. They at once 
advised me in the most complimentary and urgent man 
ner to take the General to Manchester, where they 
resided, assuring me that an exhibition in that place 
would be highly remunerative. I thanked my new 



ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 171 

friends for their counsel and encouragement, and 
ventured to ask them what price they would recommend 
me to charge for admission. 

" The General is so decidedly a curiosity," said the 
lady, " that I think you might put it as high as tup- 
-pence ! " (two-pence.) 

She was, however, promptly interrupted by her hus 
band, who was evidently the economist of the family : 
"I am sure you would not succeed at that price," said 
he ; " you should put admission at one penny, for that 
is the usual price for seeing giants and dwarfs in 
England." 

This was worse than the ten dollars a week offer of 
the wax-works proprietor, but I promptly answered 
" Never shall the price be less than one shilling ster 
ling and some of the nobility and gentry of England 
will yet pay gold to see General Tom Thumb." 

My letters of introduction speedily brought me into 
friendly relations with many excellent families and I 
was induced to hire a hall and present the General to 
the public, for a short season, in Liverpool. I had 
intended to proceed directly to London and begin 
operations at " head-quarters," that is, in Buckingham 
Palace, if possible ; but I had been advised that the 
royal family was in mourning for the death of Prince 
Albert s father, and would not permit the approach of 
any entertainments. 

Meanwhile confidential letters from London informed 
me that Mr. Maddox, Manager of Princess s Theatre, 
was coming down to witness my exhibition, with a 
view to making an engagement. He came privately, 
but I was fully informed as to his presence and object. 
A friend pointed him out to me in the hall, and when 



172 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SPECULATION. 

I stepped up to him, and called him by name, he 
was " taken all aback," and avowed his purpose in 
visiting Liverpool. An interview resulted in an engage 
ment of the General for three nights at Princess s 
Theatre. I was unwilling to contract for a longer 
period, and even this short engagement, though on lib 
eral terms, was acceded to only as a means of adver 
tisement. So soon, therefore, as I could bring my short, 
but highly successful season in Liverpool to a close, we 
went to London. 






%> J.JL j.*. .L -L .LJ JA. .A. 1. 
GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 

ARRIVAL IN LONDON THE GENERAL S DEBUT IN THE PRINCESS* S THEATRE 

ENORMOUS SUCCESS MY MANSION AT THE WEST END DAILY LEVEES 
FOR THE NOBILITY AND GENTRY HON. EDWARD EVERETT HIS INTER 
EST IN THE GENERAL VISIT TO THE BARONESS ROTHSCHILD OPENING 
IN EGYPTIAN HALL, PICCADILLY MR. CHARLES MURRAY, MASTER OF THE 

QUEEN S HOUSEHOLD AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE BY COMMAND OF HER 
MAJESTY A ROYAL RECEPTION THE FAVORABLE IMPRESSION MADE BY 

THE GENERAL AMUSING INCIDENTS OF THE VISIT BACKING OUT FIGHT 
WITH A POODLE COURT JOURNAL NOTICE SECOND VISIT TO THE QUEEN 

THE PRINCE OF WALES AND PRINCESS ROYAL THE QUEEN OF THE 
BELGIANS THIRD VISIT TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE KING LEOPOLD, OF 
BELGIUM ASSURED SUCCESS THE BRITISH PUBLIC EXCITED EGYPTIAN 
HALL CROWDED QUEEN DOWAGER ADELAIDE THE GENERAL S WATCH 

NAPOLEON AND THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON DISTINGUISHED FRIENDS. 

IMMEDIATELY after our arrival in London, the General 
came out at the Princess s Theatre, and made so decided 
a " hit " that it was difficult to decide who was best 
pleased, the spectators, the manager, or myself. The 
spectators were delighted because they could not well 
help it ; the manager was satisfied because he had 
coined money by the engagement; and I was greatly 
pleased because I now had a visible guaranty of success 
in London. I was offered far higher terms for a re-en- 
gagement, but my purpose had been already answered ; 
the news was spread everywhere that General Tom 
Thumb, an unparalleled curiosity, was in the city ; and 
it only remained for me to bring him before the public, 
on my own account and in my own time and way. 

I took a furnished mansion in Grafton Street, Bond 
Street, West End, in the very centre of the most fash- 



174 GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 

ionable locality. The house had previously been occu 
pied for several years by Lord Talbot, and Lord 
Brougham and half a dozen families of the aristocracy 
and many of the gentry were my neighbors. From this 
magnificent mansion, I sent letters of invitation to the 
editors and several of the nobility, to visit the General. 
Most of them called, and were highly gratified. The 
word of approval was indeed so passed around in high 
circles, that uninvited parties drove to my door in crested 
carriages, and were not admitted. 

This procedure, though in some measure a stroke of 
policy, was neither singular nor hazardous, under the 
circumstances. I had not yet announced a public exhi 
bition, and as a private American gentleman, it became 
me to maintain the dignity of my position. I therefore 
instructed my liveried servant to deny admission to see 
my " ward," excepting to persons Avho brought cards of 
invitation. He did it in a proper manner, and no offence 
could be taken, though I was always particular to send 
an invitation immediately to such as had not been 
admitted. 

During our first week in London, the Hon. Edward 
Everett, the American Minister, to whom I had letters 
of introduction, called and was highly pleased with his 
diminutive though renowned countryman. We dined 
with him the next day, by invitation, and his family 
loaded the young American with presents. Mr. Everett 
kindly promised to use influence at the Palace in person, 
with a view to having Tom Thumb introduced to Her 
Majesty Queen Victoria. 

A few evenings afterwards the Baroness Rothschild 
sent her carriage for us. Her mansion is a noble struc- 
ture in Piccadilly, surrounded by a high wall, through 



GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 175 

the gate of which our carriage was driven, and brought 
up in front of the main entrance. Here we were 
received by half a dozen servants, and were ushered up 
the broad flight of marble stairs to the drawing-room, 
where we met the Baroness and a party of twenty or 
more ladies and gentlemen. In this sumptuous mansion 
of the richest banker in the world, we spent about two 
hours, and when we took our leave a well-filled purse 
was quietly slipped into my hand. The golden shower 
had begun to fall, and that it was no dream was mani 
fest from the fact that, very shortly afterwards, a visit 
to the mansion of Mr. Drummond, another eminent 
banker, came to the same golden conclusion. 

I now engaged the " Egyptian Hall," in Piccadilly, 
and the announcement of my unique exhibition was 
promptly answered by a rush of visitors, in which the 
wealth and fashion of London were liberally repre 
sented. I made these arrangements because I had little 
hope of being soon brought to the Queen s presence, 
(for the reason before mentioned,) but Mr. Everett s 
generous influence secured my object. I breakfasted 
at his house one morning, by invitation, in company with 
Mr. Charles Murray, an author of creditable repute, who 
held the office of Master of the Queen s Household. In 
the course of conversation, Mr. Murray inquired 
as to my plans, and I informed him that I intended 
going to the Continent shortly, though I should be 
glad to remain if the General could have an inter 
view with the Queen adding that such an event 
would be of great consequence to me. 

Mr. Murray kindly offered his good offices in the 
case, and the next day one of the Life Guards, a 
tall, noble-looking fellow, bedecked as became his sta- 



176 GENEBAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 

tion, brought me a note, conveying the Queen s invita 
tion to General Tom Thumb and his guardian, Mr. Bar- 
num, to appear at Buckingham Palace on an evening 
specified. Special instructions were the same day orally 
given me by Mr. Murray, by Her Majesty s command, 
to suffer the General to appear before her, as he would 
appear anywhere else, without any training in the use 
of the titles of royalty, as the Queen desired to see him 
act naturally and without restraint. 

Determined to make the most of the occasion, I put 
a placard on the door of the Egyptian Hall: " Closed 
this evening, General Tom Thumb being at Bucking 
ham Palace by command of Her Majesty." 

On arriving at the Palace, the Lord in Waiting put 
me " under drill" as to the manner and form in which 
I should conduct myself in the presence of royalty. I 
was to answer all questions by Her Majesty through 
him, and in no event to speak directly to the Queen. 
In leaving the royal presence I was to " back out," 
keeping my face always towards Her Majesty, and the 
illustrious lord kindly gave me a specimen of that sort 
of backward locomotion. How far I profited by his 
instructions and example, will presently appear. 

We were conducted through a long corridor to a 
broad flight of marble steps, which led to the Queen s 
magnificent picture gallery, where Her Majesty and 
Prince , Albert, the Duchess of Kent, and twenty or 
thirty of the nobility were awaiting our arrival. They 
were standing at the farther end of the room when the 
doors were thrown open, and the General walked in, 
looking like a wax doll gifted with the power of 
locomotion. Surprise and pleasure were depicted on 
the countenances of the royal circle at beholding this 



GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 177 

remarkable specimen of humanity so much smaller 
than they had evidently expected to find him. 

The General advanced with a firm step, and as he 
came within hailing distance made a very graceful bow, 
and exclaimed, " Good evening, Ladies and Gentle 
men ! " 

A burst of laughter followed this salutation. The 
Queen then took him by the hand, led him about the 
gallery, and asked him many questions, the answers to 
which kept the party in an uninterrupted strain of 
merriment. The General familiarly informed the 
Queen that her picture gallery was " first- rate," and 
told her he should like to see the Prince of Wales. 
The Queen replied that the Prince had retired to rest, 
but that he should see him on some future occasion. 
The General then gave his songs, dances, and imita 
tions, and after a conversation with Prince Albert and 
all present, which continued for more than an hour, we 
were permitted to depart. 

Before describing the process and incidents of " back 
ing out," I must acknowledge how sadly I broke through 
the counsel of the Lord in Waiting. While Prince 
Albert and others were engaged with the General, the 
Queen was gathering information from me in regard to 
his history, etc. Two or three questions were put ancl 
answered through the process indicated in my drill. It 
was a round-about way of doing business not at all to 
my liking, and I suppose the Lord in Waiting was 
seriously shocked, if not outraged, when I entered 
directly into conversation with Her Majesty. She, 
however, seemed not disposed to check my boldness, 
for she immediately spoke directly to me in obtaining 
the information which she sought. I felt entirely at- 



J.78 GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 

ease in her presence, and could not avoid contrasting 
her sensible and amiable manners with the stiffness and 
formality of upstart gentility at home or abroad. 

The Queen was modestly attired in plain black, and 
wore no ornaments. Indeed, surrounded as she was by 
ladies arrayed in the highest style of magnificence, their 
dresses sparkling with diamonds, she was the last per 
son whom a stranger would have pointed out in that 
circle as the Queen of England. 

The Lord in Waiting was perhaps mollified toward 
me when he saw me following his illustrious example 
in retiring from the royal presence. He was accustomed 
to the process, and therefore was able to keep somewhat 
ahead (or rather aback) of me, but even /stepped rather 
fast for the other member of the retiring party. We had a 
considerable distance to travel in that long gallery before 
reaching the door, and whenever the General found he 
was losing ground, he turned around and ran a few steps, 
then resumed the position of " backing out," then turned 
around and ran, and so continued to alternate 
his methods of getting to the door, until the gallery 
fairly rang with the merriment of the royal spectators. 
It was really one of the richest scenes I ever saw ; run 
ning, under the circumstances, was an offence sufficiently 
heinous to excite the indignation of the Queen s favorite 
poodle-dog, and he vented his displeasure by barking 
so sharply as to startle the General from his propriety. 
He, however, recovered immediately, and with his little 
cane commenced an attack on the poodle, and a funny 
fight ensued, which renewed and increased the merri 
ment of the royal party. 

This was near the door of exit. We had scarcely 
passed into the ante-room, when one of the Queen s 



GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 179 

attendants came to us with the expressed hope of Her 
Majesty that the General had sustained no damage 
to which the Lord in Waiting playfully added, that in 
case of injury to so renowned a personage, he should 
fear a declaration of war by the United States ! 

The courtesies of the Palace were not yet exhausted, 
for we were escorted to an apartment in which refresh 
ments had been provided for us. We did ample justice 
to the viands, though my mind was rather looking into 
the future than enjoying the present. I was anxious 
that the " Court Journal " of the ensuing day should 
contain more than a mere line in relation to the Gener 
al s interview with the Queen, and, on inquiry, I 
learned that the gentleman who had charge of that fea 
ture in the daily papers was then in the Palace. He 
was sent for by my solicitation, and promptly acceded 
to my request for such a notice as would attract atten 
tion. He even generously desired me to give him an 
outline of what I sought, and I was pleased to see after 
wards, that he had inserted my notice verbatim. 

This notice of my visit to the Queen wonderfully 
increased the attraction of my exhibition and compelled 
me to obtain a more commodious hall for my exhibition. 
I accordingly removed to the larger room in the same 
building, for some time previously occupied by our coun 
tryman, Mr. Catlin, for his great Gallery of Portraits 
of American Indians and Indian Curiosities, all of 
which remained as an adornment. 

On our second visit to the Queen, we were received 
in what is called the " Yellow Drawing-Room," a mag 
nificent apartment, surpassing in splendor and gorgeous- 
ness anything of the kind I had ever seen. It is on the 
north side of the gallery, and is entered from that 



180 GENEBAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 

apartment. It was hung with drapery of rich yellow 
satin damask, the couches, sofas and chairs being coh 
ered with the same material. The vases, urns and 
ornaments were all of modern patterns, and the most 
exquisite workmanship. The room was panelled in gold, 
and the heavy cornices beautifully carved and gilt. 
The tables, pianos, etc., were mounted with gold, inlaid 
with pearl of various hues, and of the most elegant 
designs. 

We were ushered into this gorgeous drawing-room 
before the Queen and royal circle had left the dining- 
room, and, as they approached, the General bowed 
respectfully, and remarked to Her Majesty " that he had 
seen her before," adding, " I think this is a prettier room 
than the picture gallery ; that chandelier is very fine." 

The Queen smilingly took him by the hand, and said 
she hoped he was very well. 

44 Yes, ma am," he replied, " I am first rate." 

" General," continued the Queen, " this is the Prince 
of Wales." 

" How are you, Prince ? " said the General, shaking 
him by the hand ; and then standing beside the Prince, 
he remarked, " the Prince is taller than I am, but I feel 
as big as anybody" upon which he strutted up and 
down the room as proud as a peacock, amid shouts of 
laughter from all present. 

The Queen then introduced the Princess Royal, and 
the General immediately led her to his elegant little 
sofa, which we took with us, and with much politeness 
sat himself down beside her. Then, rising from his 
seat, he went through his various performances, and the 
Queen handed him an elegant and costly souvenir, 
which had been expressly made for him by her order 



GENERAL TOM THUMB IK BNGLAtfD. 

for which, he told her, "he was very much obliged, 
and would keep it as long as he lived." The Queen of 
the Belgians, (daughter of Louis Philippe) was present 
on this occasion. She asked the General where he was 
going when he left London ] 

66 To Paris," he replied. 

" Whom do you expect to see there ? " she continued. 

Of course all expected he would answer, "the King 
of the French," but the little fellow replied : 

i4 1 shall see Monsieur Guillaudeu in Paris." 

The two Queens looked inquiringly to me, and when 
I informed them that M. Guillaudeu was my French 
naturalist, who had preceded me to Paris, they laughed 
most heartily. 

On our third visit to Buckingham Palace, Leopold, 
King of the Belgians, was also present. He was 
highly pleased, and asked a multitude of questions. 
Queen Victoria desired the General to sing a song, and 
asked him what song he preferred to sing. 

" Yankee Doodle," was the prompt reply. 

This answer was as unexpected to me as it was 
to the royal party. When the merriment it occasioned 
somewhat subsided, the Queen good-humoredly re 
marked, c: That is a very pretty song, General. Sing it 
if you please." The General complied, and soon after 
wards we retired. I ought to add, that after each ot 
our three visits to Buckingham Palace, a very handsome 
sum was sent to me, of course by the Queen s com 
mand. This, however, was the smallest part of the 
advantage derived from these interviews, as will be 
at once apparent to all who consider the force of Court 
example in England. 

The British public were now fairly excited. Not 



182 GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 

to have seen General Tom Thumb was decidedly 
unfashionable, and from March 20th until July 20th, the 
levees of the little General at Egyptian Hall were con 
tinually crowded, the receipts averaging during the 
whole period about five hundred dollars per day, and 
sometimes going considerably beyond that sum. At 
the fashionable hour, between fifty and sixty carriages 
of the nobility have been counted at one time standing 
in front of our exhibition rooms in Piccadilly. 

Portraits of the little General were published in all 
the pictorial papers of the time. Polkas and quadrilles 
were named after him, and songs were sung in his 
praise. He was an almost constant theme for the 
London Punch, which served up the General and 
myself so daintily that it no doubt added vastly to our 
receipts. 

Besides his three public performances per day, the 
little General attended from three to four private parties 
per week, for which we were paid eight to ten guineas 
each. Frequently we would visit two parties in the 
same evening, and the demand in that line was much 
greater than the supply. The Queen Dowager Adelaide 
requested the General s attendance at Marlborough 
House one afternoon. He went in his court dress, con 
sisting of a richly embroidered brown silk-velvet coat 
and short breeches, white satin vest with fancy-colored 
embroidery, white silk stockings and pumps, wig, bag- 
wig, cocked hat, and a dress sword. 

" Why, General," said the Queen Dowager, " I think 
you look very smart to-day." 

" I guess I do," said the General complacently. 

A large party of the nobility were present. The old 
Duke of Cambridge offered the little General a pinch of 



GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 183 

snuff, which, he declined. The General sang his songs, 
performed his dances, and cracked his jokes, to the great 
amusement and delight of the distinguished circle of 
visitors. 

" Dear little General," said the kind-hearted Queen, 
taking him upon her lap, " I see you have got no watch. 
Will you permit me to present you with a watch and 
chain?" 

" I would like them very much," replied the General, 
his eyes glistening with joy as he spoke. 

" I will have them made expressly for you," responded 
the Queen Dowager; and at the same moment she 
called a friend and desired him to see that the proper 
order was executed. A few weeks thereafter we were 
called again to Marlborough House. A number of the 
children of the nobility were present, as well as some 
of their parents. After passing a few compliments with 
the General, Queen Adelaide presented him with a 
beautiful little gold watch, placing the chain around his 
neck with her own hands. The little fellow was 
delighted, and scarcely knew how sufficiently to express 
his thanks. The good Queen gave him some excellent 
advice in regard to his morals, which he strictly prom 
ised to obey. 

After giving his performances, we withdrew from the 
royal presence, and the elegant little watch presented 
by the hands of Her Majesty the Queen Dowager was 
not only duly heralded, but was also placed upon a 
pedestal in the hall of exhibition, together with the 
presents from Queen Victoria, and covered with a 
glass vase. These presents, to which were soon added 
an elegant gold snuff-box mounted with turquoise, pre 
sented by his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, and many 
9 



184 GENEilAL TOM THUMB, IN ENGLAND. 

other costly gifts of the nobility and gentry, added 
greatly to the attractions of the exhibition. The Duke 
of Wellington called frequently to see the little 
General at his public levees. The first time he called, 
the General was personating Napoleon Bonaparte, 
marching up and down the platform, and apparently 
taking snuff in deep meditation, lie was dressed in 
the well-known uniform of the Emperor. I introduced 
him to the " Iron Duke," who inquired jthe subject of 
his meditations. "I was thinking of fhe Jpss of the 
battle of. Waterloo," was the little General s immediate 
reply. This display of wit was . chronicled throughout 
the country, and was of itself worth thousands of pounds 
to the exhibition. 

While we were in London the Emperor Nicholas, of 
Russia, visited Queen Victoria, and I saw him on sev 
eral public occasions. I was present at the grand 
review of troops in Windsor Park in honor of and 
before the Emperor of Russia and the King of Saxony. 

.General Tom Thumb had visited the. King of, Saxony 
and also Ibrahim Pacha who was then in London.-, -At 
the different parties >ve attended, we. met,- in the course 
of the season, nearly all of the nobility.. I do not 
believe that a single nobleman in England failed to see 
General Tom Thumb at his own. house, at the.hpuse of 
a friend, or at the public levees at Egyptian Hall. , The 
General was a decided pet with, some of the first per 
sonages in the land, among whom may be mentioned 
Sir Robert and Lady Peel, the Duke and, Duchess of 
Buckingham, Duke of Bedford, Duke of .Devonshire, 
Count d Orsay, Lady Blessington, Daniel O Connell, 
Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence, Lord Chesterfield, Mr. and 
.Mrs. Joshua Bates, of the firm of Baring Brothers & 

. . -. v " .,. L ; * -K> I v* c 1 r lj J f - 



GENERAL TOM THUMB IN ENGLAND. 185 

Co., and many other persons of distinction. We had 
the free entree to all the theatres, public gardens, and 
places of entertainment, and frequently met the princi 
pal artists, editors, poets, and authors of the country. 
Albert Smith was a particular friend of mine. He wrote 
a play for the General entitled " Hop o my Thumb," 
which was presented with great success at the Lyceum 
Theatre, London, and in several of the provincial 
theatres. Our visit in London and tour through the 
provinces were enormously successful, and after a 
brilliant season in Great Britain I made preparations 
to take the General to Paris 



Y.I rnoirj y<r a 



vfi/:m 



or!) 

sfft lo eioilliii! hiHi ef-tooq ,g-ioJii)0 s 
alf .enim lo bcahl ifif0aitiiiq JP, 8i5// jftijn 

.rfiiu/ii i yra \) qoli " fiubitno iiriOiCJr ) -Jiil V>! 

;,P,.H4PT5B XII. 

9lfj "ic^ i-i ; J3^ feAi^CEl^ :is 



QOmG OVEll TO ARRANGE PRELIMIKARIES PREVIOUS VISIT TO PARIS ROBERT 
HOIliblX WO^DEltF Ut MECHANICAL TOYS THE AUTOMATON LETTER- WRITEli 

DION BOUCICAULT-TT-.TA|C ON NATURAL CURIOSITIES HOW i COMPROMISER 

THE GENERAL AND PARTY IN PARIS FIRST VIS^T TO KING LOUIS PHILIPPE 
A SPLENDID PRESENT DIPLOMACY-"- 1 ASK A FAVOR* AND^ KiET IT LONG 
CHAMPS THE GENERAL S EQUIPAGE THE FINEST ADVERTISEMENT EVER 
KNOWN ALL PARIS IN A FUROR OPENING OF THE LEVEES " TOM POUCE " 
EVERYWHERE THE GENERAL AS AN ACTOR " PETIT POUCET" SECOND 
AND THIRD VISITS AT THE TUILERIES INVITATION TO ST. CLOUD THE 
GENERAL PERSONATING NAPOLEON BONAPARTE ST. DENIS THE INVALIDES 

REGNIER ANECDOTE OF FRANKLIN LEAVING PARIS TOUR THROUGH 
FRANCE DEPARTURE FOR BRUSSELS. 

BEFORE taking the little General and party to Paris, 
I went over alone to arrange the preliminaries for our 
campaign in that city. Paris was not altogether a 
strange place to me. Months before, when I had suc 
cessfully established my exhibition in London, I ran 
over to Paris to see what I could pick up in the way of 
curiosities for my Museum in New York, for during my 
whole sojourn abroad, and amid all the excitements of 
my new career, I never forgot the interests of my many 
and generous patrons at home. The occasion which 
first called me to France was the " quinquennial exposi 
tion " in Paris. At that time, there was an assemblage, 
every five years, of inventors and manufacturers who 
exhibited specimens of their skill, especially in articles 
of curious and ingenious mechanism, and I went from 
London mainly to attend this exposition. 



IN FKANCE. 187 

There I met and became well acquainted with Robert 
Houdin, the celebrated conjurer. He was a watch- 
maker by trade, but very soon displayed a wonderful 
ability and ingenuity which he devoted with so much 
assiduity to the construction of a complicated machine, 
that he lost all mental power for a considerable period. 
When he recovered, he employed himself with great 
success in the manufacture of mechanical toys and 
automata which attracted much attention, and afterwards 
he visited Great Britain and other countries, giving a 
series of juggling exhibitions which were famous 
throughout Europe. 

At this quinquennial exposition which I attended, he 
received a gold medal for his automata, and the best 
figure which he had on exhibition I purchased at a good 
round price. It was an automaton writer and artist, a 
most ingenious little figure, which sat at a table, and 
readily answered with the pencil certain questions. 
For instance : if asked for an emblem of fidelity, the 
figure instantly drew a correct picture of a handsome 
dog ; the emblem of love was shown in an exquisite 
drawing of a little Cupid ; the automaton would also 
answer many questions in writing. I carried this curi 
ous figure to London and exhibited it for some time in 
the Royal Adelaide Gallery, and then sent it across the 
Atlantic to the American Museum. 

During my very brief visit to Paris, Houdin was giv 
ing evening performances in the Palais Roy ale, in leger 
demain, and I was frequently present by invitation. 
Houdin also took pains to introduce me to other in 
ventors of moving figures which I purchased freely, 
and made a prominent feature in my Museum attrac 
tions. I managed, too, during my short stay, to see 



188 IN FRANCE. 

something of the surface of the finest city in the 
world. 

And now, going to Paris the second time, I was very 
fortunate in making the acquaintance of Mr. Dion 
Boucicault, who was then temporarily sojourning in 
that city, and who at once kindly volunteered to advise 
and assist me in regard to numerous matters of impor 
tance relating to the approaching visit of the General. 
He spent a day with me in the search for suitable 
accommodations for my company, and by giving me the 
benefit of his experience, he saved me much trouble 
and expense. I have never forgotten the courtesy 
extended to me by this gentleman. 

I stopped at the Hotel Bedford, and securing an 
interpreter, began to make my arrangements. The first 
difficulty in the way was the government tax for exhibit 
ing natural curiosities, which was no less than one- 
fourth of the gross receipts, while theatres paid only 
eleven per cent. This tax was appropriated to the 
benefit of the city hospitals. Now, I knew from my 
experience in London, that my receipts would be so 
large as to make twenty-five per cent of them a far 
more serious tax than I thought I ought to pay to the 
French government, even for the benefit of the admi 
rable hospitals of Paris. Accordingly, I went to the 
license bureau and had an interview with the chief. I 
told him I was anxious to bring a " dwarf" to Paris, but 
that the percentage to be paid for a license was so large 
as to deter me from bringing him ; but letting the usual 
rule go, what should I give him in advance for a two 
months license ? 

" My dear sir," he answered, " you had better not 
come at all ; these things never draw, and you will do 



IN FRANCE. 189 

nothing, or so little that the percentage need not trouble 
you." 

T expressed my willingness to try the experiment and 
offered one thousand francs in advance for a license. 
The chief would not consent and I then offered two 
thousand francs. This opened his eyes to a chance for 
a speculation and he jumped at my offer; he would do 
it on his own account, he said, and pay the amount of 
one-quarter of my receipts to the hospitals ; he was 
perfectly safe in making such a contract, he thought, 
for he had 15,000 francs in bank. ?jfc / 

But I declined to arrange this with him individually, 
so he called his associates together and presented the 
matter in such a way that the board took my offer on 
behalf of the government. I paid down the 2,000 
francs and received a good, strong contract and license. 
The chief was quite elated and handed me the license 
with the remark : 

" Now we have made an agreement, and if you do not 
exhibit, or if your dwarf dies during the two months 
you shall not get back your money." 

" All right," thought I ; "if you are satisfied I am 
sure I have every reason to be so." I then hired at a 
large rent, the Salle Musard, Hue Vivienne, in a central 
and fashionable quarter close by the boulevards, and 
engaged an interpreter, ticket-seller, and a small but 
excellent orchestra. In fact, I made the most complete 
arrangements, even to starting the preliminary para 
graphs in the Paris papers ; and after calling on the 
Honorable William Rufus King, the United States Min 
ister at the Court of France who assured me that 
after my success in London there would be no difficulty 
whatever in my presentation to King Louis Philippe 
and family I returned to England. 

9* 



190 IN FRANCE. 

I went back to Paris with General Tom Thumb and 
party some time before I intended to begin my exhibi 
tions, and on the very day after my arrival I received a 
special command to appear at the- Tuileries on the fol 
lowing Sunday evening. It will be remembered that 
Louis : Philipp ! e*s daughter, the wife of- King Leopold, 
of Belgium, had seen the General at Buckingham 
Palace & fact that had been duly chronicled in the 
French : as well as English panel s, and I hav6 ho doubt 
that she : had privately expressed her gratification at See 
ing him. With this advantage, and with- ; the prestige 
of ! 6tir receptions by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 
we went to the Tuileries with full confidence that -our 
visit and deception would be entirely satisfactory. 
- A-i the^ppftinted hou^ the General and I, arrayed in 
the conventional court costume, -were ushered into a 
grand saloon of the ; palace where we ^were introduced 
to the King, the Queen, Princess Adelaide, the Duchess 
d Orleans and her son the Count !) de ! Pansy Prince de 
Joinville, Duke and Duchess de Nemours, -the Dirchess 
d Aumale, and a dozen or more , distinguished persons, 
among whom was the editor of* the- official Joifi ttat des 
Debats. The coirt circle entered into conversation with 
us without restraint, and were greatly "delighted with 
the little General. King -Louis * Phflippfc was minute in 
his inquiries about "my conn try and talked freely about 
his experiences \th6i*<iit wandered as an ! exile in 
America. He playfully Alluded to the time when- he 
earned his living as a tutor, and said he had rotighed it 
generally nd >h ; ad "even $le\ri in Indian wigWams. Gen 
eral Toni ! Thumb then went tHrottgh tvith his varioirs 
performances to the manifest pleasure of all who Were 
present, and at the close the ffing presented to him a 





IN FRANCE. 191 

large emerald brooch set with diamonds. The General 
expressed his gratitude, arid the King, turning to me, 
said : " you may put it on the General, if you please," 
which I did, to the evident gratification of 1 the King as 
well as the General. 

King Louis Philippe was so condescending and courte 
ous, that I felt quite at home in the royal presence, and 
ventured upon a bit of diplomacy. The Longchamps 
celebration was coming a day 1 once devoted to relig 
ious ceremony, but now conspicuous for the display of 
court and fashidnable equipages in the Champs Elysees 
and the Bois de Boulogne, and as the King was famil 
iarly conversing with me, I ventured to say that I had 
hurried over to Paris to take part in the Longchamps dis 
play and I asked him if the General s carriage could 
not be permitted to appear in the avenue reserved for 
the court and the diplomatic corps, representing that 
th 6 General s small but elegant establishment, with its 
ponies and little coachman and footman, would be in 
danger of damage in the general throng unless the 
special privilege I asked was accorded. 

The King smilingly turned to one of the officers of 
his household and after conversing with him for a few 
moments he said to me : 

" Call on the Prefect of Police to-morrow afternoon 
and you will find a permit ready for you." : 

Our visit occupied two hours, and when we went 
away the General was loaded with fine presents. The 
next morning all the newspapers noticed the visit, and 
the Journal des Debats gave a minute account of the 
interview and of the General s performances, taking 
occasion to say, in speaking of the character parts, that 
" there was one costume which the General wisely kept 



192 IN FRANCE. 

at the bottom of his box." That costume, however, 
the uniform of Bonaparte was once exhibited, by 
particular request, as will be seen anon. 

Longchamps day arrived, and among the many 
splendid equipages on the grand avenue, none attracted 
more attention than the superb little carriage with four 
ponies and liveried and powdered coachman and foot 
man, belonging to the General, and conspicuous in the 
line of carriages containing the Ambassadors to the 
Court of France. Thousands upon thousands rent the 
air with cheers for " General Tom Pouce." There 
never was such an advertisement ; the journals next 
clay made elaborate notices of the u turnout," and there 
after whenever the General s carriage appeared on the 
boulevards, as it did daily, the people flocked to the 
doors of the cafes and shops to see it pass. 

Thus, before I opened the exhibition all Paris knew 
that General Tom Thumb was in the city. The French 
are exceedingly impressible ; and what in London is only 
excitement, in Paris becomes furor. Under this pressure, 
with the prestige of my first visit to the Tuileries and the 
numberless paragraphs in the papers, I opened my doors 
to an eager throng. The elite of the city came to the 
exhibition ; the first day s receipts were 5,500 francs, 
which would have been doubled if I could have made 
room for more patrons. There were afternoon and 
evening performances and from that day secured seats 
at an extra price were engaged in advance for the entire 
two months. The season was more than a success, it 
was a triumph. 

It seemed, too, as if the whole city was advertising 
me. The papers were profuse in their praises of the 
General and his performances. Figaro, the Punch of 



IN FRANCE. 193 

Paris, gave a picture of an immense mastiff running 
away with the General s carriage and horses in his 
mouth. Statuettes of " Tom Poutfe " "appeared in all 
the windows, in plaster, Parian, sugar and chocolate ; 
songs were written about him and his lithograph was 
seen everywhere. : A fine cafe* on one of the boulevards 
took the 7 name of " Tom Pouce " and displayed over the 
door a life-size statue of the General. In Paris, as in 
London, several eminent ^aititers expressed their desire 
to ]baint- : hii portrait, but the General s engagements 
were so pressing that he found little time to sit to artists. 
All the leading actors and actresses came to the Gen 
eral s levees and petted him and made him many pre 
sents. Meanwhile, the daily receipts continued to swell, 
and I was compelled to take a cab to cdrry my bag of 
silver home at night. 

The official, Tvho had compromised with me for a two 
months license at 2,000 francs, was amazed as well as 
annoyed at the success of my " dwarf." He came, or 
sent a man, to the levees to take account of the receipts 
and every additional thousand francs gave him an addi 
tional twinge. He seriously appealed to me to give him 
more money, but when I reminded him of the excellent 
bargain he supposed he was making, especially when 
he added the conditional clause that I should forfeit the 
2,000 francs if I did not exhibit or if the General died, he 
smiled faintly and said something about a " Yankee 
trick." I asked him if he would renew our agreement 
for two months more on the same terms ; and he shrug 
ged his shoulders and said : 

"No, Monsieur Barnum ; you will pay me twenty- 
five per cent of your receipts when the two months of 
our contract expires. 



194: IN FRANCE. 

But I did not ; for I appealed to the authorities, 
claiming that I should pay only the ordinary theatrical 
tax, since the General s exhibition consisted chiefly of 
character imitations in various costumes, and he was 
more attractive as an actor than as a natural curiosity. 
My view of the case was decided to be correct, and 
thereafter, in Paris and throughout France, with few 
exceptions, I paid only the eleven per cent theatrical tax. 

Indeed, in Paris, the General made a great hit as an 
actor and was elected a member of the French Dra 
matic Society. Besides holding his levees, he appeared 
every night at the Vaudeville Theatre in a French play, 
entitled " Petit Poucet," and written expressly for him, 
and he afterwards repeated the part with great success in 
other cities. The demands upon our time were inces 
sant. We were invited everywhere to dinners and 
entertainments, and as many of these were understood 
to be private performances of the General, we were 
most liberally remunerated therefor. M. Galignani 
invited us to a soiree and introduced us to some of the 
most prominent personages, including artists, actors 
and editors, in Paris. The General was frequently 
engaged at a large price to show himself for a quarter 
of an hour at some fancy or charitable fair, and much 
money was made in this way. On Sundays, he was 
employed at one or another of the great gardens in 
the outskirts, and thus was seen by thousands of 
working people who could not attend his levees All 
classes became acquainted with " Tom Pouce." 

We were commanded to appear twice more at the 
Tuileries, and we were also invited to the palace on the 
King s birthday to witness the display of fireworks in 
hon r of the anniversary. Our fourth and last visit to 



IN FRANCE. 195 

the royal family was by special invitation at St. Cloud. 
On each occasion we met nearly the same persons, but 
the visit to St. Cloud was by far the most interesting of 
our interviews. On this one occasion, and by the 
special request of the King, the General personated 
Napoleon Bonaparte in full costume. Louis Philippe 
had heard of the General in this character, and particu 
larly desired to see him ; but the affair was quite " on 
the sly," and no mention was made of it in the papers, 
particularly in the Journal des Debats, which thought, 
no doubt, that costume was still " at the bottom of the 
General s box." We remained an hour, and at parting, 
each of the royal company gave the General a splendid 
present, almost smothered him with kisses, wished him 
a safe journey through France, and a long and happy 
life. After bidding them adieu, we retired to another 
portion of the palace to make a change of the General s 
costume, and to partake of some refreshments which 
were prepared for us. Half an hour afterwards, as we 
were about leaving the palace, we went through a hall 
leading to the front door, and in doing so passed the 
fitting-room in which the royal family were spending 
the evening. The door was open, and some of them 
happening to espy the General, called out for him to 
come in and shake hands with them once more. We 
entered the apartment, and there found the ladies sitting 
around a square table, each provided with two candles, 
and every one of them, including the Queen, was en 
gaged in working at embroidery, while a young lady 
was reading aloud for their edification. I am sorry to 
say, I believe this is a sight seldom seen in families of 
the aristocracy on either side of the water. At the 
church fairs in Paris, I had frequently seen pieces of 



196 Eff FRANCE. 

embroidery for sale, which were labelled as having been 
presented and worked by the Duchess d Orleans, Prin 
cess Adelaide, Duchess de Nemours, and other titled 
ladies. 

We also visited, by invitation, the Napoleon School 
for young ladies, established by the First Napoleon, at 
St. Denis, five miles north of Paris, and the General 
greatly delighted the old pensioners at the Invalides by 
calling upon them, and shaking many of them by the 
hand. If the General could have been permitted to 
present to these survivors of Waterloo his representa 
tion of their chief and Emperor, he would have aroused 
their enthusiasm as well as admiration. 

Ori the Fourth of July, 1844, 1 was in Grenelle, out 
side the barriers of Paris, when I remembered that I 
had the address of Monsieur Kegnier, an eminent 
mechanician, who lived in the vicinity. Wishing to 
purchase a variety of instruments such as he manufac 
tured, I called at his residence. He rtfceived me Very 
politely, and I soon was deeply interested in this intelli 
gent and learned man. He was a member of many 
scientific institutions, was " Chevalier of the Legion of 
Honor" etc 

While he was busy in making out my bill, I was 
taking a cursory view of the various plates, drawings, 
etc., which adorned his walls, when my eyes fell on a 
portrait which wag familiar to me. I was certain that I 
could not be mistaken, and on approaching nearer it proved 
to be, as I expected, the engraved portrait of Benjamin 
Franklin. It was placed in a glazed frame, and on the 
outside of the glass were arranged thirteen stars made of 
metal, forming a half circle round his head. 

" Ah ! " I exclaimed, " I see you have here a portrait 
of my fellow-countryman, Dr. Franklin. " 



IN FRANCE. 197 

" Yes," replied M. Eegnier, " and he was a great and 
an excellent man. When he was in Paris in 98, he 
was honored and respected by all who knew him, and 
by none more so than by the scientific portion of the 
community; At that time, Dr. Franklin was invited by 
the President of the Society of Emulation to decide upon 
the merits of Various works of art submitted for inspec 
tion, and he awarded my father,- for a complicated lock, 
the prize of a gold medal. 

" While my father was with him at his hotel, a young 
Quaker called upon the Doctor. He was a total 
stranger to Franklin, but at once proceeded to inform 
him that he had come to Paris on business, had unfortu 
nately lost all his money, ? and Wished to borrow six 
hundred francs to enable him to return to his family in 
Philadelphia. Franklin inquired his family name, and 
upon hearing it immediately counted but the money, 
gave the young stranger some excellent advice, and bade 
him adieu. My father Was struck by the generosity of 
Dr. Franklin, and as soon as the young man had 
departed, he told the Doctor that he was astonished to 
see him so free with his money to a stranger ; that 
people did not do business . in that way in Paris ; and 
what he considered very careless was, that Franklin 
took no receipt, not even a scratch of a pen from the 
young man. Franklin replied that he always felt a duty 
and pleasure in relieving his fellow-men, and especially 
in this case, aS he knew the family, and they were 
honest and worthy persons. My father, himself a gen 
erous man," continued M. Regnier, "was affected 
nearly to tears, and begged the Doctor to present 
him with his portrait. He did so, and this is it. My 
father has been dead some years. He bequeathed the 



198 IN FRANCE. 

portrait to me, and there is not mqney enough in Paris 
to buy it." 

I need not say that I was delighted with this recital. 
I remarked to M. Regnier that he should double the 
number of stars, as we now (in 1844) had twenty-six 
States instead of thirteen, the original number. 

" I am aware of that," he replied ; " but I do not like 
to touch the work which was left by my father. I hold 
it sacred ; and," added he, " I suppose you are not 
aware of the uses we make of these stars ? " Assuring 
him in the negative " Those stars," said he, " are made 
of steel, and on the night of every anniversary of Amer 
ican Independence (which is this night), it was always 
the practice of my father, and will always be mine, to 
collect our family and children together, darken the 
room, and by means of electricity, these stars, which are 
connected, are lighted up, and the portrait illuminated 
by electricity, Franklin s favorite science thus form 
ing a halo of glory about his head, and doing honor to 
the name of a man whose fame should be perpetuated 
to eternity." 

In continuing the conversation, I found that this good 
old gentleman was perfectly acquainted with the history 
of America, and he spoke feelingly of what he believed 
to be the high and proud destiny of our republic. He 
insisted on my remaining to supper, and witnessing his 
electrical illumination. Need I say that I accepted the 
invitation ? Could an American refuse ? 

We partook of a substantial supper, upon which the 
good old gentleman invoked the blessing of our Father 
in Heaven, and at the conclusion he returned hearty 
thanks. At nine o clock the children and family of M. 
llegnier and his son-in-law were called in, the room wtis 



IN FRANCE. 199 

darkened, the electrical battery was charged, and the 
wire touched to one of the outer stars. The whole thir 
teen became instantly bright as fire, and a beautiful 
effect was produced. What more simple and yet beau 
tiful and appropriate manner could be chosen to honor 
the memory of Franklin 1 And what an extraordinary 
coincidence it was that I, a total stranger in Paris, should 
meet such a singular man as M. Regnier at all, and more 
especially on that day of days, the anniversary of our 
Independence ! At ten o clock I took my leave of this 
worthy family, but not till we had all joined in the fol 
lowing toast proposed by M. Regnier : 

" Washington, Franklin, and Lafayette heroes, 
philosophers, patriots, and honest men: May their 
names stand brightest on the list of earthly glory, when, 
in after ages, this whole world shall be one universal 
republic, and every individual under Heaven shall 
acknowledge the truth that man is capable of self-gov 
ernment." 

It will not be considered surprising that I should feel 
at home with Monsieur llegnier. Both the day and the 
man conspired to excite and gratify my patriotism ; and 
the presence of Franklin, my love of my native land. 

During my stay in Paris, a Russian Prince, who had 
been living in great splendor in that city, suddenly died, 
and his household and personal effects were sold at 
auction. I attended the sale for several days in succes 
sion, buying many articles of vertu, and, among others, 
a magnificent gold tea-set, and a silver dining-service, 
and many rare specimens of Sevres china. These arti 
cles bore the initials of the family name of the Prince, 
and his own, " P. T.," thus damaging the articles, so that 
the silver and gold were sold for their weight value 



200 IN 1WANCK 

only. 1 bought them, and, adding " B." to the P.. T.," 

had a very line table service, still in my possession, and 
..bearing my own initials, " P. T. B." 

While dining one day with my friend, Dr. Bre.vvster, 
,jijL Paris, all the company present were in raptures over 
.. k ,pme very fine " Laiitte " wine on the table, and the 
usual exclamations, " delicious ! " and " fruity ! " were 
heard on all sides. When I went to the. south of 
France, the Doctor gave me p letter of introduction to 
Lafittc s agent, Mr. Good, at Bordeaux, and I was shown 
through the extensive cellars of the establishment. The 
agent talked learnedly, almost, affectionately, about the 
choice and exclusive vineyards of the establishing^ and 
how t)^/ stones .in the ground retained, the warmth de 
rived from the sun during the day throughout the night, 
thus mellowing and maturing the grapes, and resulting 
in the production of a pen i liar , win.e, which was possibje 
to no other plot of ground in .the.pntire, grape country. 
I afterwards learned, however, that this exclusive 
establishment bought up the entire wine product of all the 
vineyards in the region round about ify was. like the cqje- 
brated " Cabana" cigars in Havana., ,.pn,eday a friend 
was dining with me in Bordeaux and I called for a bottle 
of u Lafitte," which, purchased on the very, ground of its 
manufacture, was of course genuine and delicionsly 
" fruity." It was very old wine of some famous year, 
and .the bottle us brought up from the bin was covered 
with cobwebo and dust. But while we were sipping tin, 
wine and exclaiming " fruity." at proper intervals, I hap 
pened to take out my knife and quite inadvertently cut 
oif a. bit of the label. The next day when my friend 
was again dining with me I called for another bottle of 
the peculiar Lahtte which had so delighted us, yesterday- 



IN FRANCE. 201 

It came cobwebbed and dust-covered and was duly dis 
cussed and pronounced deliciously " fruity." But hor 
rors ! all at once, something caught my attention and I 
exclaimed : 

" Do you see that cut label ? That is the very bottle 
which held the rare old wine of yesterday ; there is the 
4 ear-mark which I left with my knife on. the bottle " 
and I summoned the landlord and thus addressed him : 

" What do you mean, you scoundrel, by putting your 
infernal vin ordinaire into old bottles, and passing it off 
upon us as genuine Lafltte?" 5 

He protested that such a thing was impossible ; we 
were at the very fountain head of the wine, and no one 
would dare to attempt such a fraud, especially upon 
experienced wine-tasters like ourselves. But I showed 
him my careless but remembered mark on the bottle, 
and proved by my friend that we had the same bottle 
for our wine of, the day before. This was shown so con 
clusively and emphatically that the landlord finally 
confessed his fraud, and said that though he had sold 
thousands of bottles of so-called "Lafitte" to. his guests, 
he never had, two dozen bottles of the genuine article 
in his possession in his life ! 

Every one who has been in the wine district knows 
that the wine is troddejn from the grapes by the bare 
feet of the peasants, and while I was there, desiring a 
new experience, I myself trod out a half barrel or so 
with my own naked feet, dancing vigorously the while 
to the sound of a fiddle. 

In spite of tl^e extraordinary attention and unbounded 
petting the little ^General received at the hands of 
all classes, he was in no sense a " spoiled child," but 
retained throughout that natural simplicity of character 



202 IN FRANCE. 

and demeanor which added so much to the charm of 
his exhibitions. He was literally the pet of Paris, and 
after a protracted and most profitable season we started 
on a tour through France. The little General s small 
Shetland ponies arrd miniature carriage would be sure 
to arouse the enthusiasm of the " Provincials," so I de 
termined to take them along with us. We went first to 
Rouen, and from thence to Toulon, visiting all the inter 
mediate towns, including Orleans, Nantes, Brest, Bor 
deaux, where I witnessed a review by the Dukes de 
Nemours and d Aumale, of 20,000 soldiers who were 
encamped near the city. From Bordeaux we went to 
Toulouse, Montpellier, Nismes, Marseilles, and many 
other less important places, holding levees for a longer 
or shorter time. While at Nantes, Bordeaux and Mar 
seilles the General also appeared in the theatres in his 
French part of " Petit Poucet." 

Very soon after leaving Paris for our tour through 
France, I found that there were many places where it 
would be impossible to proceed otherwise than by post. 
General Tom Thumb s party numbered twelve persons, 
and these, with all their luggage, four little ponies, and 
a small carriage, must be transported in posting vehicles 
of some description. I therefore resolved that as post 
ing in France was as cheap, and more independent than 
any other method of travel, a purchase of posting 
vehicles should be made for the sole use of the renowned 
General Tom Thumb and suite. One vehicle, however 
large, would have been insufficient for the whole com 
pany and " effects," and, moreover, would have been 
against the regulations. These regulations required 
that each person should pay for the use of one horse, 
whether using it or not, and I therefore made the fol- 



IN FRANCE. 203 

lowing arrangements : I purchased a post-chaise to carry 
six persons, to be drawn by six horses ; a vehicle on 
springs, with seats for four persons, and room for the 
General s four ponies and carriage, to be drawn by four 
horses ; and lastly, a third vehicle for conveying the 
baggage of the company, including the elegant little 
house and furniture set on the stage in the General s 
performances of "Petit Poucet" at the theatres, the 
whole drawn by two horses. 

With such a retinue the General "cut quite a swell" 
in journeying through the country, travelling, indeed, 
in grander style than a Field Marshal would have 
thought of doing in posting through France. All this 
folly and expense, the uninitiated would say, of employ 
ing twelve horses and twelve persons, to say nothing of 
the General s four ponies, in exhibiting a person weigh 
ing only fifteen pounds ! But when this retinue passed 
along the roads, and especially when it came into a 
town, people naturally and eagerly inquired what great 
personage was on his travels, and when told that it 
was " the celebrated General Tom Thumb and suite," 
everybody desired to go and see him, It was thus the 
best advertising we could have had, and was really, in 
many places, our cheapest and in some places, our only 
mode of getting from point to point where our exhibi 
tions were to be given. 

During most of the tour I was a week or two ahead of 
the company, making arrangements for the forthcoming 
exhibitions, and doing my entire business without the 
aid of an interpreter, for I soon "picked up" French 
enough to get along very well indeed. I did not forget 
that Franklin learned to speak French when he was sev 
enty years of age, and I did not consider myself too old 
10 



204 IN FRANCE. 

to learn, what, indeed, I was obliged to learn in the 
interests of my business. As for the little General, who 
was accompanied by a preceptor and translator, he very 
soon began to give his entire speaking performances in 
French, and his piece "Petit Poucet" was spoken as if 
he were a native. 

In fact, I soon became the General s avant courier, 
though not doing the duties of an avant courier to an 
ordinary exhibition, since these duties generally consist 
in largely puffing the " coming man" and expected show, 
thus endeavoring to create a public appetite and to 
excite curiosity. My duties were quite different; after 
engaging the largest theatre or saloon to be found in the 
town, I put out a simple placard, announcing that the 
General would appear on such a day. Thereafter, my 
whole energies were directed, apparently, to keeping 
the people quiet ; I begged them not to get excited ; I 
assured them through the public journals, that every 
opportunity should be afforded to permit every person to 
see " the distinguished little General, who had delighted 
the principal monarchs of Europe, and more than a mil 
lion of their subjects," and that if one exhibition in the 
largest audience room in the town would not suffice, two 
or even three would be given. 

This was done quietly, and yet, as an advertisement, 
effectively, for, strange as it may seem, people who 
\vere told to keep quiet, would get terribly excited, and 
when the General arrived and opened his exhibitions, 
excitement would be at fever heat, the levees would be 
thronged, and the treasury filled ! 

Numerous were the word battles 1 had with mayors, 
managers of theatres, directors of hospitals, and others, 
relative to what I considered justly, I think the out- 



IN FRANCE. 205 

rageous imposition which the laws permitted in the way 
of taxes upon " exhibitions." Thus the laws required, 
for the sake of charity, twenty-five per cent of my gross 
receipts for the hospitals ; while to encourage a local 
theatre, or theatres, which might suffer from an outside 
show, twenty per cent more must be given to the local 
managers. 

Of course this law was nearly a dead letter ; for, to 
have taken forty-five per cent of my gross receipts at 
every exhibition would soon have driven me from the 
provinces, so the hospitals were generally content with 
ten per cent, and five or ten francs a day satisfied the 
manager of a provincial theatre. But at Bordeaux the 
manager of the theatre wished to engage the General 
to appear in his establishment, and as I declined his 
offer, he threatened to debar me from exhibiting any 
where in town, by demanding for himself the full twenty 
per cent the law allowed, besides inducing the directors 
of the hospitals to compel me to pay them twenty-five 
per cent more. 

Here was a dilemma ! I must yield and take half 1 
thought myself entitled to and permit the General to play 
for the manager, or submit to legal extortion, or forego 
my exhibitions. I offered the manager six per cent of 
my receipts and he laughed at me. I talked with the 
hospital directors and they told me that as the manager 
favored them, they felt bound to stand by him. I 
announced in the public journals that the General could 
not appear in Bordeaux on account of the cupidity and 
extortionate demands of the theatre manager and the 
hospital directors. The people talked and the papers 
denounced ; but manager and directors remained as firm 
as rocks in their positions. Tom Thumb was to arrive 



206 IN FEANCE. 

in two days and I was in a decided scrape. The mayor 
interceded for me, but to no avail ; the manager had 
determined to enforce an almost obsolete law unless I 
would permit the General to play in his theatre every 
night. My Yankee " dander " was up and I declared 
that I would exhibit the General gratis rather than sub 
mit to the demand. Whereupon, the manager only 
laughed at me the more to think how snugly he had 
got me. 

Now it happened that, once upon a time, Bordeaux, 
like most cities, was a little village, and the little village 
of Vincennes lay one mile east of it. Bordeaux had 
grown and stretched itself and thickly settled far 
beyond Vincennes, bringing the latter nearly in the 
centre of Bordeaux ; yet, strange to say, Vincennes 
maintained its own identity, and had its own Mayor and 
municipal rights quite independent of Bordeaux, i 
could scarcely believe my informant who told me this, 
but I speedily sought out the Mayor of Vincennes, 
found such a personage, and cautiously inquired if there 
was a theatre or a hospital within his limits ? He 
assured me there was not. I told him my story, and 
asked : 

" If I open an exhibition within your limits will there 
be any percentages to pay from my receipts ? " 

" Not a sou," replied the Mayor. 

" Will you give rue a writing to that effect?" 

" With the greatest pleasure," replied the Mayor, and 
he did so at once. 

I put this precious paper in my pocket, and in a few 
moments I hired the largest dancing saloon in the place, 
a room capable of holding over 2,000 people. I then 
announced, especially to the delighted citizens of Bor- 



IN FRANCE. 207 

deaux, that the General would open his exhibitions in 
Vineennes, which he soon did to an overflowing house. 
For thirteen days we exhibited to houses averaging 
more than 3,000 francs per day, and for ten days more 
at largely increased receipts, not one sou of which went 
for taxes or percentages. The manager and directors, 
theatre and hospital, got nothing, instead of the fail- 
allowance I would willingly have given them. Oh, 
yes! they got something, that is, a lesson, not to 
attempt to offset French Shylockism against Yankee 
shrewdness. 

We were in the South of France in the vintage 
season. Nothing can surpass the richness of the 
country at that time of the year. We travelled for 
many miles where the eye could see nothing but 
vineyards loaded with luscious grapes and groves of 
olive trees in full bearing. It is literally a country of 
wine and oil. Our remunerative and gratifying round 
of mingled pleasure and profit, brought us at last to 
Lille, capital of the department of Nord, and fifteen 
miles from the Belgian frontier, and from thcu.ce we prc - 
ceeded to Brussels. 



fvy nl iihwo id 



*r miff 



CHAPTER XIII. 

IN BELGIUM. 

CROSSING THE FRONTIER PROFESSOR PINTE QUALIFICATIONS OF A GOOD 
SHOWMAN "SOFT SUP" GENEROUS DISTRIBUTION OF MEDALS PRINCE 
CHARLES STRATTON AT BRUSSELS PRESENTATION TO KING LEOPOLD 
AND HIS QUEEN THE GENERAL S JEWELS STOLEN THE THIEF CAUGHT 
RECOVERY OF THE PROPERTY THE FIELD OF WATERLOO MIRACU- 
LOUSLY MULTIPLIED RELICS CAPTAIN TIPPITIWITCHET OF THE CONNECTICU1 
FUSILEERS AN ACCIDENT GETTING BACK TO BRUSSELS IN A CART 
STRATTON SWINDLED LOSING AN EXHIBITION TWO HOURS IN THE. 
RAIN ON THE ROAD THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY A STRICT CON 

STRUCTIONIST STRATTON s HEAD SHAVED " BRUMMAGEM " RELICS 

HOW THEY ARE PLANTED AT WATERLOO WHAT LYONS SAUSAGES ARE 
MADE OF FROM BRUSSELS TO LONDON. 

IN crossing the border from France into Belgium, 
Professor Pinte, our interpreter and General Ton\ 
Thumb s preceptor, discovered that he had left his 
passport behind him at Lille, at Marseilles, or else 
where in France, he could not tell where, for it was a 
long time since he had been called upon to present it. 
I was much annoyed and indignantly told him that he 
" would never make a good showman, because a good 
showman never forgot anything." I could see that my 
allusion to him as a " showman " was by no means 
pleasant, which leads me to recount the circumstances 
under which I was first brought in contact with the 
Professor. 

He was really a "Professor" and teacher of English 
in one of the best educational establishments in Paris. 
Very soon after opening my exhibitions in that city, I 
saw the necessity of having a translator who was quali 
fied to act as a medium between the General and the 



IN BELGIUM. 209 

highly cultivated audiences that daily favored us at our 
levees. I had begun with a not over-cultivated inter 
preter, who, when the General personated Cupid, for 
instance, would cry out " Coopeed," to which some one 
would be sure to respond " Stoopeed," to the annoyance 
of myself and the amusement of the audience. 1 
accordingly determined to procure the best interpreter 
I could find and I was directed to call upon Professor 
-Pinte. I saw him and briefly stated what I wanted, 
in what capacity I proposed to employ him, and what 
salary I would pay him. He was highly indignant and 
informed me that he was " no showman," and had no 
desire to learn or engage in the business. 

" But, my dear sir," said I, "it is not as a showman 
that I wish to employ your valuable services, but as a 
preceptor to my young and interesting ward, General 
Tom Thumb, whom I desire to have instructed in the 
French language and in other accomplishments you are 
so competent to impart. At the same time, I should 
expect that you would be willing to accompany my ward 
and your pupil and attend his public exhibitions for the 
purpose of translating, as may be necessary, to the culti 
vated people of your own class who are the principal 
patrons of our entertainments." 

This seemed to put an entirely new face upon the 
matter, especially as I had offered the Professor a salary 
five times larger, probably, than he was then receiving. 
So he rapidly revolved the subject in his rriind and said : 

"Ah! while I could not possibly accept a situation 
as a showman, I should be most happy to accept the 
terms and the position as preceptor to your ward." 

He was engaged, and at once entered upon his duties, 
not only as preceptor to the General, but as the efficient 



210 IN BELGIUM. 

and always excellent interpreter at our exhibitions, and 
wherever we needed his services on the route. As he 
had lost his passport, when we came to Courtrai on the 
Belgian frontier, I managed to procure a permit for him 
which enabled him to proceed with the party. This was 
but the beginning of difficulties, for I had all our prop 
erty, including the General s ponies and equipage, to 
pass through the Custom-house, and among other things 
there was a large box of medals, with a likeness of the 
General on one side and of Queen Victoria and Prince 
Albert on the other side, which were sold in large 
numbers as souvenirs at our exhibitions. They were 
struck off at a considerable expense in England, and 
commanded a ready sale. 

The Custom-house officers were informed, however, 
that these medals were mere advertising cards-, as they 
really were, of our exhibitions, and I begged their 
acceptance of as many as they pleased to put in their 
pockets. They were beautiful medals, and a few dozen 
were speedily distributed among the delighted officials, 
who forthwith passed our show-bills, lithographs and 
other property with very little trouble. They wanted, 
however, to charge a duty upon the General s ponies 
and carriage, but when I produped a document showing 
that the French government had admitted them duty- 
free, they did the same. This superb establishment led 
these officials to think he must be a very distinguished 
man, and they asked what rank he held in his own 
country. 

" He is Prince Charles Stratton, of the Dukedom of 
Bridgeport, in the Kingdom of Connecticut," said Sher 
man. 

Whereupon they all reverently raised their hats when 



IN BELGIUM. 211 

the General entered the car. Some of the railway men 
who had seen the distribution of medals among the 
Custom-house officers came to me and begged similar 
" souvenirs " of their distinguished passenger, and I 
gave the medals very freely, till the applications became 
so persistent as to threaten a serious pecuniary loss. 
At last I handed out a final dozen in one package, and 
said : " There, that is the last of them ; the rest are in 
the box, and beyond my reach." 

All this while Professor Pinte was brooding over my 
remark to him about the loss of his passport ; the word 
"showman" rankled, and he asked me: 

"Mr. Barnum, do you consider me a showman?" 

I laughingly replied, " Why, I consider you the emi 
nent Professor Pinte, preceptor to General Tom Thumb ; 
but, after all, we are all showmen." 

Finding himself so classed with the rest of us, he 
ventured to inquire " what were the qualifications of a 
good showman," to which I replied : 

" He must have a decided taste for catering for the 
public; prominent perceptive faculties ; tact; a thorough 
knowledge of human nature ; great suavity ; and plenty 
of soft soap. 

" Soft sup ! " exclaimed the interested Professor, Ci what 
is ; soft sup. 

I explained, as best I could, how the literal meaning of 
the words had come to convey the idea of getting into the 
good graces of people and pleasing those with whom 
we are brought in contact. Pinte laughed, and as he 
thought of the generous medal distribution, an idea 
struck him: 

" I think those railway officials must have very dirty 
hands you are compelled to use so much soft sup. " 
10* 



212 IN BELGIUM. 

Brussels is Paris in miniature and is one of the most 
charming cities I ever visited. We found elegant quar 
ters, and the day after our arrival by command we vis 
ited King Leopold and the Queen at their palace. The 
King and Queen had already seen the General in Lon 
don, but they wished to present him to their children and 
to the distinguished persons whom we found assembled. 
After a most agreeable hour we came away the Gen 
eral, as usual, receiving many fine presents. 

The following day, I opened the exhibition in a beau 
tiful hall, which on that day and on every afternoon and 
evening while we remained there, was crowded by throngs 
of the first people in the city. On the second or third 
day, in the midst of the exhibition, I suddenly missed 
the case containing the valuable presents the General 
had received from kings, queens, noblemen and gen 
tlemen, and instantly gave the alarm ; some thief had 
intruded for the express purpose of stealing these jew 
els, and, in the crowd, had been entirely successful in 
his object. 

The police were notified, and I offered 2,000 francs 
reward for the recovery of the property. A day or two 
afterwards a man went into a jeweller s shop and offered 
for sale, among other things, a gold snuff-box, mounted 
with turquoises, and presented by the Duke of Devon 
shire to the General. The jeweller, seeing the Gen 
eral s initials on the box, sharply questioned the man, 
who became alarmed and ran out of the shop. An 
alarm was raised, and the man was caught. Pie made 
a clean breast of it, and in the course of a few hours the 
entire property was returned, to the great delight of the 
General and myself. Wherever we exhibited after 
wards, no matter how respectable the audience, the case 
of presents was always carefully watched. 



IN BELGIUM, 213 

While I was in Brussels I could do no less than visit 
the battle-field of Waterloo, and I proposed that our 
party should be composed of Professor Pinte, Mr. Strat- 
ton, father of General Tom Thumb, Mr. H. G. Sherman, 
and myself. Going sight-seeing was a new sensation to 
Stratton, and as it was necessary to start by four o clock 
in the morning, in order to accomplish the distance 
(sixteen miles) and return in time for our afternoon 
performance, he demurred. 

" I do n t want to get up before daylight and go off on 
a journey for the sake of seeing a darned old field of 
wheat," said Stratton. 

" Sherwood, do try to be like somebody, once in your 
life, and go," said his wife. 

The appeal was irresistible, and he consented. We 
engaged a coach and horses the night previous, and 
started punctually at the hour appointed. We stopped at 
the neat little church in the village of Waterloo, for the 
purpose of examining the tablets erected to the memory 
of some of the English who fell in the contest. Thence 
we passed to the house in which the leg of Lord Uxbridge 
(Marquis of Anglesey) was amputated. A neat little 
monument in the garden designates the spot where the 
shattered member had been interred. In the house is 
shown a part of the boot which is said to have once 
covered the unlucky leg. The visitor feel s it but con 
siderate to hand a franc or two to the female who exhib 
its the monument and limb. I did so, and Stratton, 
though he felt that he had not received the worth of 
his money, still did not like to be considered penurious, 
so he handed over a piece of silver coin to the attend 
ant. I expressed a desire to have a small piece of the 
boot to exhibit in my Museum ; the lady cut off, without 



214 IN BELGIUM. 

hesitation, a slip three inches long by one in width. I 
handed her a couple more francs, and Stratton desiring, 
as he said, to " show a piece of the boot in old Bridge 
port," received a similar slip, and paid a similar amount 
I could not help thinking that if the lady was thus libe 
ral in dispensing pieces of the "identical boot" to all 
visitors, this must have been about the ninety-nine 
thousandth boot that had been cut as the " Simon pure " 
since 1815. 

With the consoling reflection that the female pur 
chased all the cast-off boots in "Brussels and its vicinity, 
and rejoicing that somebody was making a trifle out of 
that accident besides the inventor of the celebrated 
" Anglesey leg," we passed on towards the battle-field, 
lying about a mile distant. 

Arriving at Mont Saint Jean, a quarter of a mile from 
the ground, we were beset by some eighteen or twenty 
persons, who offered their services as guides, to indicate 
the most important localities. Each applicant professed 
to know the exact spot where every man had been 
placed who had taken part in the battle, and each, of 
course, claimed to have been engaged in that sangui 
nary contest, although it had occurred thirty years before, 
and some of these fellows were only, it seemed, from 
twenty-five to twenty-eight years of age! We accepted 
an old man, who, at first declared that he was killed in 
the battle, but perceiving our looks of incredulity, con 
sented to modify his statement so far as to assert that he 
was horribly wounded, and lay upon the ground three 
days before receiving assistance. 

Once upon the ground, our guide, with much gravity, 
pointed out the place where the Duke of Wellington 
took his station during a great part of the action ; the 



IN BELGIUM. 215 

locality inhere the reserve of the British army was sta 
tioned ; the spot where Napoleon placed his favorite 
guard ; the little mound on which was erected a tempo 
rary observatory for his use during the battle ; the por 
tion of the field at which Blucher entered with the 
Prussian army ; the precise location of the Scotch 
Greys; the spot where fell Sir Alexander Gordon, 
Lieut. Col. Canning, and many others of celebrity. I 
asked him if he could tell me where Captain Tippiti- 
wichet, of the Connecticut Fusileers, was killed. " Oui, 
Monsieur," he replied, with perfect confidence, for he 
felt bound to know, or to pretend to know, every par 
ticular. He then proceeded to point out exactly the 
spot where my unfortunate Connecticut friend had 
breathed his last. A fter indicating the locations where 
some twenty more fictitious friends from Coney Island, 
New Jersey, Cape Cod and Saratoga Springs, had given 
up the ghost, we handed him his commission and de 
clined to give him further trouble. Stratton grumbled 
at the imposition as he handed out a couple of francs 
for the information received. 

Upon quitting the battle-field we were accosted by a 
dozen persons of both sexes with baskets on their arms 
or bags in their hands, containing relics of the battle 
for sale. These consisted of a great variety of imple 
ments of war, pistols, bullets, etc., besides brass French 
eagles, buttons, etc. I purchased a number of them for 
the Museum, and Stratton was equally liberal in obtain 
ing a supply for his friends in " Old Bridgeport." We 
also purchased maps of the battle-ground, pictures of 
the triumphal mound surmounted by the colossal Belgic 
Lion in bronze, etc., etc. These frequent and renewed 
taxations annoyed Stratton very much, and as he handed 



216 IN BELGIUM. 

out a five franc piece for a " complete guide-book," he 
remarked, that " he guessed the battle of Waterloo had 
cost a darned sight more since it was fought than it did 
before ! " 

But his misfortunes did not terminate here. When 
we had proceeded four or five miles upon our road home, 
crash went the carriage. We alighted, and found that 
the axle-tree was broken. It was now a quarter past 
one o clock. The little General s exhibition was adver 
tised to commence in Brussels at two o clock, and could 
not take place without us. We were unable to walk 
the distance in double the time at our disposal, and as 
no cairi age was to be got in that part of the country, I 
concluded to take the matter easy, and forego all idea of 
exhibiting before evening. Strattbn, however, could not 
bear the thought of losing the chance of taking in six 
or eight hundred francs, and he determined to take 
matters in hand, in order,- if possible, to get our party 
into Brussels in/ time/to save the afternoon exhibi 
tion. He hastjped /o a farm-house, accompanied by 
the interprets, Professor Pinte, Sherman and myself 
leisurely bringing up the rear. Stratton asked the old 
farmer if he had a carriage. He had not. " Have 
you no vehicle 1 " he inquired. 

" Yes, I have that vehicle," he replied, pointing to an 
old cart filled with manure, and standing in his barn 
yard. 

" Thunder ! is that all the conveyance you have got ] " 
asked Stratton. Being assured that it was, Stratton 
concluded that it was better to ride in a manure cart 
than not get to Brussels in time. 

" What will you ask to drive us to Brussels in three- 
quarters of an hour 1 " demanded Stratton. 



IN .BELGIUM. 217 

"It is impossible," replied the farmer ; "I should 
want two hours for my horse to do it in." 

fi But ours is a very pressing case, and if we are not 
there in time we lose more than five hundred francs,* 
said Stratton. 

The old farmer pricked up his ears at this, and agreed 
to get us to Brussels in an hour, for eighty francs. 
Stratton tried to beat him down, but it was of no use. 

" Oh, go it, Stratton," said Sherman ; " eighty francs 
you know is only sixteen dollars, and you will probably 
save a hundred by it, for I expect a full house at our 
afternoon exhibition to-day." 

" But I have already spent about ten dollars for non 
sense," said Stratton, " and we shall have to pay for the 
broken carriage besides." 

" But what can you do better?" chimed in Professor 
Pinte. 

46 It is an outrageous extortion to charge sixteen dol 
lars for an old horse and cart to go ten miles. Why, in old 
Bridgeport I could get it done for three dollars," replied 
Stratton, in a tone of vexation. 

* c It is the custom of the country," said Professor Pinte, 
" and we must submit to it." 

By the way, this was a favorite expression of the 
Professor s. Whenever we were imposed upon, or felt 
that we were not used right, Pinte would always 
endeavor to smooth it over by informing us it was " the 
custom of the country." 

" Well, it s a thundering mean custom, any how," said 
Stratton, " and I wont stand such an imposition." 

" But what shall we do ? " earnestly inquired Mr. 
Pinte. " It may be a high price, but it is better to pay 
that than to lose our afternoon performance and five or 
six huitdred francs." 



213 IN BELGIUM. 

This appeal to the pocket touched Stratton s feelings ; 
so submitting to the extortion, he replied to our inter 
preter, "Well, tell the old robber to dump his dung-cart 
as soon as possible, or we shall lose half an hour in 
starting." 

The cart was dumped" and a large, lazy-looking 
Flemish horse was attached to it with a rope harness. 
Some boards were laid across the cart for seats, the 
party tumbled into the rustic vehicle, a red-haired boy, 
son of the old farmer, mounted the horse, and Stratton 
gave orders to " get along." " Wait a moment," said 
the farmer, " you have not paid me yet," " I ll pay 
your boy when we get to Brussels, provided he gets 
there within the hour," replied Stratton. 

" Oh, he is sure to get there in an hour, said the 
farmer, " but I can t let him go unless you pay in 
advance." The minutes were flying rapidly, the antici 
pated loss of the day exhibition of General Tom Thumb 
flitted before his eyes, and Stratton, in very desperation, 
thrust his hand into his pocket and drew forth sixteen 
five-franc pieces, which he dropped, one at a time, into 
the hand of the farmer, and then called out to the boy, 
" There now, do try to see if you can go ahead." 

The boy did go ahead, but it was with such a snail s 
pace that it would have puzzled a man of tolerable eye 
sight to have determined whether the horse was moving 
or standing still. To make it still more interesting, it 
commenced raining furiously. As we had left Brussels 
in a coach, and the morning had promised us a pleasant 
day, we had omitted our umbrellas. We were soon 
soaked to the skin. We " grinned and bore it " awhile 
without grumbling. At length Stratton, who was almost 
too angry to speak, desired Mr. Pinte to ask the red- 



IN BELGIUM. 219 

haired boy if he expected to walk his horse all the way 
to Brussels. 

" Certainly," replied the boy; "he is too big and fat 
to do any thing but walk. We never trot him." 

Stratton was terrified as he thought of the loss of the 
day exhibition ; and he cursed the boy, the cart, the 
rain, the luck, and even the battle of Waterloo itself. 
But it was all of no use, the horse would not run, but 
the rain did down our backs. 

At two o clock, the time appointed for our exhibition, 
we were yet some seven miles from Brussels. The 
horse walked slowly and philosophically through the 
pitiless storm, the steam majestically rising from the old 
manure-cart, to the no small disturbance of our unfortu 
nate olfactories. " It will take two hours to get to 
Brussels at this rate," growled Stratton. " Oh, no," 
replied the boy, " it will only take about two hours from 
the time we started." 

" But your father agreed to get us there in an hour," 
answered Stratton. 

" I know it," responded the boy, " but he knew it 
would take more than two." 

" I ll sue him for damage, by thunder," said Stratton. 

" Oh, there would be no use in that," chimed in Mr. 
Pinte, " for you could get no satisfaction in this country." 

" But I shall lose more than a hundred dollars by 
being two hours instead of one," said Stratton. 

" They care nothing about that ; all they care for is 
your eighty francs," remarked Pinte. 

" But they have lied and swindled me," replied Strat 
ton. 

" Oh, you must not mind that, it is the custom of the 
country." 



220 IN BELGIUM. 

Stratton gave "the country," and its "customs," 
another cursing. 

All things will finally have an end, and our party did 
at length actually arrive in Brussels, cart and all, in 
precisely two hours and a half from the time we left the 
farmer s house. Of course we were too late to exhibit 
the little General. Hundreds of visitors had gone away 
disappointed. 

With feelings of utter desperation, Stratton started 
for a barber s shop. He had a fine, black, bushy head 
of hair, of which he was a little proud, and every morn 
ing he submitted it to the curling-tongs of the barber. 
His hair had not been cut for several weeks, and after 
being shaved, he desired the barber to trim his flowing 
locks a little. The barber clipped oif the ends of the 
hair, and asked Stratton if that was sufficient. " No," 
he replied, " I want it trimmed a little shorter ; cut away, 
and I will tell you when to stop." 

Stratton had risen from bed at an unusual hour, and 
after having passed through the troubles and excitements 
of the unlucky morning, he began to feel a little drowsy. 
This feeling was augmented by the soothing sensations 
of the tonsorial process, and while the barber quietly 
pursued his avocation, Stratton as quietly fell asleep. 
The barber went entirely over his head, cutting off a 
couple of inches of hair with every clip of his scissors. 
He then rested for a moment, expecting his customer 
would tell him that it was sufficient ; but the unconscious 
Stratton uttered not a word, and the barber, thinking he 
had not cut the hair close enough, went over the head 
again. Again did he wait for an answer, little thinking 
that his patron was asleep. Remembering that Strat 
ton had told him to " cut away, and he would tell him 



IN BELGIUM, 221 

when to stop," the innocent barber went over the head 
the third time, cutting the hair nearly as close as if he 
had shaved it with a razor ! Having finished, he again 
waited for orders from his customer, but he uttered not 
a word. The barber was surprised, and that surprise 
was increased when he heard a noise which seemed very 
like a snore coming from the nasal organ of his uncon 
scious victim. 

The poor barber saw the error that he had committed, 
and in dismay, as if by mistake, he hit Stratton on the 
side of the head with his scissors, and woke him. He 
started to his feet, looked in the glass, and to his utter 
horror saw that he was unfit to appear in public with 
out a wig! He swore like a trooper, but he could not 
swear the hair back on to his head, and putting on his 
hat, which dropped loosely over his eyes, he started for 
the hotel. His despair and indignation were so great 
that it was some time before he could give utterance to 
words of explanation. His feelings were not allayed 
by the deafening burst of laughter which ensued. He 
said it was the first time that he ever went a sight-see 
ing, and he guessed it would be the last ! 

Several months subsequent to our visit to Waterloo, I 
was in Birmingham, and there made the acquaintance 
of a firm who manufactured to order, and sent to Water 
loo, barrels of "relics" every year. At Waterloo these 
" relics " are planted, and in due time dug up, and sold 
at large prices as precious remembrances of the great 
battle. Our Waterloo purchases looked rather cheap 
after this discovery. 

While we were in Brussels, Mrs. Stratton. the mother 
of the General, tasted some sausages which she declared 
the best things she had eaten in France or Belgium ; in 



222 IN BELGIUM. 

fact, she said " she had found little that was fit to eat 
in this country, for every thing was so Frenchified and 
covered in gravy, she dared not eat it ; but there was 
something that tasted natural about these sausages ; she 
had never eaten any as good, even in America." She 
sent to the landlady to inquire the name of them, for 
she meant to buy some to take along with her. The 
answer came that they were called " saucisse de Lyon, " 
(Lyons sausages,) and straightway Mrs. Stratton went 
out and purchased half a dozen pounds. Mr. Sherman 
soon came in, and, on learning what she had in her 
package, he remarked : " Mrs. Stratton, do you know 
what Lyons sausages are made of ? " 

" No," she replied ; " but I know that they are first- 
rate ! " 

" Well," replied Sherman, " they may be good, but 
they are made from donkeys ! " which is said to be the 
fact. Mrs. Stratton said she was not to be fooled so 
easily that she knew better, and that she should stick 
to the sausages. 

Presently Professor Finte entered the room. " Mr. 
Pinte," said Sherman, " you are a Frenchman, and 
know every thing about edibles ; pray tell me what 
Lyons sausages are made of." 

" Of asses," replied the inoffensive professor. 

Mrs. Stratton seized the package, the street window 
was open, and, in less than a minute, a large brindle 
dog was bearing the " Lyons sausages " triumphantly 
away. 

There were many other amusing incidents during our 
brief stay at Brussels, but I have no space to record 
them. After a very pleasant and successful week, we 
returned to London. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

LEVEES IN EGYPTIAN HALL UNDIMINISHED SUCCESS OTHER ENGAGEMENTS 
" UP IN A BALLOON" PROVINCIAL TOUR TRAVELLING BY POST GOING 
TO AMERICA A. T. STEWART SAMUEL ROGERS AN EXTRA TRAIN AN 
ASTONISHED RAILWAY SUPERINTENDENT LEFT BEHIND AND LOCKED UP 
SUNDAYS IN LONDON BUSINESS AND PLEASURE ALBERT SMITH A DAY 
WITH HIM AT WARWICK STRATFORD ON AVON A POETICAL BARBER 
WARWICK CASTLE OLD GUY S TRAPS OFFER TO BUY THE LOT THREAT 
TO BURST THE SHOW ALBERT SMITH AS A SHOWMAN LEARNING THE BUSI 
NESS FROM BARNUM THE WARWICK RACES RIVAL DWARFS MANUFAC 
TURED GIANTESSES THE HAPPY FAMILY THE ROAD FROM WARWICK TO 
COVENTRY PEEPING TOM THE YANKEE GO-AHEAD PRINCIPLE ALBERT 
SMITH S ACCOUNT OF A DAY WITH BARNUM. 

IN London the General again opened his levees in 
Egyptian Hall with undiminished success. His un* 
bounded popularity on the Continent and his receptions 
by King Louis Philippe, of France, and King Leopold, 
of Belgium, had added greatly to his prestige and fame. 
Those who had seen him when he was in London 
months before came to see him again, and new visitors 
crowded by thousands to the General s levees. 

Besides giving these daily entertainments, the General 
appeared occasionally for an hour, during the intermis 
sions, at some place in the suburbs ; and for a long time 
he appeared every day at the Surrey Zoological Gardens, 
under the direction of the proprietor, my particular 
friend Mr. W. Tyler. This place subsequently became 
celebrated for its great music hall, in which Spurgeon, 
the sensational preacher, first attained his notoriety. 
The place was always crowded, and when the General 



224 IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

had gone through with his performances on the little 
stage, in order that all might see him he was put into a 
"balloon which, secured by ropes, was then passed around 
the ground just above the people s heads. Some forty 
men managed the ropes and prevented the balloon from 
rising ; but, one day, a sudden gust of wind took the bal 
loon fairly out of the hands of half the men who had 
hold of the ropes, while others were lifted from the 
ground, and had not an alarm been instantly given which 
called at least two hundred to the rescue the little Gen 
eral would have been lost. 

In addition to other engagements, the General fre 
quently performed in Douglass s Standard Theatre, in the 
city, in the play " Hop o my Thumb," which was written 
for him by my friend, Albert Smith, whom I met soon 
after my first arrival in London and with whom I became 
very intimate. After my arrival in Paris, seeing the 
decided success of "Petit Poucet," it occurred to me that 
I should want such a play when I returned to England 
and the United States. So I wrote to Mr. Albert Smith, 
inviting him to make me a visit in Paris, intending to have 
him see this play and either translate or adapt it, or 
write a new one in English. He came and stayed with 
me a week, visiting the Vaudeville Theatre to see t; Petit 
Poucet" nearly every night, and we compared notes and 
settled upon a plan for " Hop o my Thumb." He went 
back to London and wrote the play and it was very pop 
ular indeed. 

During our stay of three months, at this time, in 
Egyptian Hall, we made occasional excursions and gave 
exhibitions at Brighton, Bath, Cheltenham, Leamington 
and other watering places and fashionable resorts. 
It wap at the height of the season in these places. 



IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 225 

and our houses were very large and our profits in 
proportion. 

In October, 1844, I made my first return visit to the 
United States, leaving General Tom Thumb in England, 
in the hands of an accomplished and faithful agent, who 
continued the exhibitions during my absence. One of 
the principal reasons for my return at this time, was my 
anxiety to renew the Museum building lease, although 
my first lease of five years had still three years longer to 
run. I told Mr. Olmsted that if he would not renew my 
lease on the same terms, for at least five years more, I 
would immediately put up a new building, remove my 
Museum, close his building during the last year of my 
lease, and cover it from top to bottom with placards, 
stating where my new Museum was to be found. Pend 
ing an arrangement, I went to Mr. A. T. Stewart, who 
had just purchased the Washington Hall property, at 
the corner of Broadway and Chambers Street, intending 
to erect a store on the site, and proposed to join him in 
building, he to take the lower floor of the new store for 
his business, and I to own and occupy the upper stories 
for my Museum. He said he would give me an answer in 
the course of a week. Meanwhile, Mr. Olmsted gave 
me the additional five years lease I asked, and I so noti 
fied Mr. Stewart. Seeing the kind of building that Mr. 
Stewart erected on his lots, I do not know if he seriously 
entertained my proposition to join him in the enterprise ; 
but he was by no means the great merchant then he after 
wards became, and neither of us then thought, probably, 
of the gigantic enterprises we were subsequently to 
undertake, and the great things we were to accomplish. 
Having completed my business arrangements in New 
York, I returned to England with my wife and daugh 

11 



226 IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

ters, and hired a house in London. My house was the 
scene of constant hospitality which I extended to my 
numerous friends in return for the many attentions 
shown to me. It seemed then as if I had more and 
stronger friends in London than in New York. I had 
met and had been introduced to " almost everybody who 
was anybody," and among them all, some of the best 
soon became to me much more than mere acquaintances. 

Among the distinguished people whom I met, I was 
introduced to the poet-banker, Samuel Rogers. I saw 
him at a dinner party at the residence of the American 
Minister, the Honorable Edward Everett. The old 
banker was very feeble, but careful nursing and all the 
appliances that unbounded wealth could bring, still 
kept the life in him and he managed, not only to con 
tinue to give his own celebrated breakfasts, but to go 
out frequently to enjoy the hospitality of others. As 
we were going in to dinner, I stepped aside, so that Mr. 
Eogers who was tottering along leaning on the arm of 
a friend, could go in before me, when Mr. Rogers said : 

" Pass in, Mr. Barnum, pass in ; I always consider it 
an honor to follow an American." 

When our three months engagement at Egyptian 
Hall had expired, I arranged for a protracted provin 
cial tour through Great Britain. I had made a flying 
visit to Scotland before we went to Paris mainly to 
procure the beautiful Scotch costumes, daggers, etc., 
which were carefully made for the General at Edinburgh, 
and to teach the General the Scotch dances, with a bit 
of the Scotch dialect, which added so much to the inter 
est of his exhibitions in Paris and elsewhere. My 
second visit to Scotland, for the purpose of giving exhi 
bitions, extended as far as Aberdeen. 



IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 227 

In England we went to Manchester, Birmingham, and 
to almost every city, town, and even village of import 
ance. We travelled by post much of the time that 
is, I had a suitable carnage made for my party, and a 
van which conveyed the General s carriage, ponies, and 
such other "property" as was needed for our levees, 
and we never had the slightest difficulty in finding good 
post horses at every station where we wanted them. 
This mode of travelling was not only very comfortable 
and independent, but it enabled us to visit many out of 
the way places, off from the great lines of travel, and in 
such places we gave some of our most successful exhi 
bitions. We also used the railway lines freely, leaving 
our carriages at any station, and taking them up again 
when we returned. 

I remember once making an extraordinary effort to 
reach a branch-line station, where I meant to leave my 
teams and take the rail for Rugby. I had a time-table, 
and knew at what hour exactly I could hit the train ; 
but unfortunately the axle to my carriage broke, and as 
an hour was lost in repairing it, I lost exactly an hour 
in reaching the station. The train had long been gone, 
and I must be in Rugby, where we had advertised a 
performance. I stormed around till I found the super 
intendent, and told him "I must instantly have an extra 
train to Rugby." 

" Extra train !" said he, with surprise and a half 
sneer, " extra train ! " why you can t have an extra train 
to Rugby for less than sixty pounds." 

" Is that all? " I asked ; " well, get up your train imme 
diately and here are your sixty pounds. What in the 
world are sixty pounds to me, when I wish to go to 
Rugby, or elsewhere, in a hurry ! " 



IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

The astonished superintendent took the money, bustled 
about, and the train was soon ready. He was greatly 
puzzled to know what distinguished person he thought 
he must be dealing with some prince, or, at least, a 
duke was willing to give so much money to save a 
few hours of time, and he hesitatingly asked whom he 
had the honor of serving. 

" General Tom Thumb." 

We reached Rugby in time to ^^ our performance, 
as announced, and our receipts Were 160, which quite 
covered the expense of our extra train and left a hand 
some margin for profit. 

When we were in Oxford, a dozen or more of the 
students came to the conclusion that as the General was a 
little fellow, the admission fee to his entertainments 
should be paid in the smallest kind of money. They 
accordingly provided themselves with farthings, and as 
each man entered, instead of handing in a shilling for 
his ticket, he laid down forty-eight farthings. The 
counting of these small coins was a great annoyance to 
Mr. Stratton, the General s father, who was ticket 
seller, and after counting two or three handsful, vexed at 
the delav which was preventing a crowd of ladies and 
gentlemen from buying tickets, Mr. Stratton lost his 
L eniper and cried out : 

- Plast your quarter pennies ! I am not going to 
^< lilt v ,hem! you chaps who haven t bigger money can 
-vmiek your copper into my hat and walk in." 

it Cambridge, some of the under-graduates pretended 
;o take offence because our check-taker would not 
pe/mit them to smoke in the exhibition hall, and one of 
them managed to involve him in a quarrel which ended with 
a challenge from the student to the check-taker, who was 



IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 229 

sure he must fight a duel at sunrise the next morning, 
and as he expected to-be shot, he suffered the greatest 
mental agony. About midnight, however, after he had 
been sufficiently scared, I brought him the gratifying 
intelligence that I had succeeded in settling the dispute. 
His gratitude at the relief thus afforded, knew no bounds. 
Mr. Stratton was a genuine Yankee, and thoroughly 
conversant with the Yankee vernacular, which he used 
freely. In exhibit : ^g the General, I often said to 
visitors, that Tom Thumb s parents and the rest of the 
family were persons of the ordinary size, and that the 
gentleman who presided in the ticket-office was the Gen 
eral s father. This made poor Stratton an object of no 
little curiosity, and he was pestered with all sorts of 
questions ; on one occasion an old dowager said to him : 
" Are you really the father of General Tom Thumb I " 
" Wa al," replied Stratton, " I have to support him ! " 
This evasive method of answering is common enough 
in New England, but the literal dowager had her doubts, 
and promptly rejoined : 

" I rather think he supports you ! " 
In my journeyings through England, I always tried 
to get back to London Saturday night, so as to pass 
Sunday with my family, and to meet the friends whom 
ve invited to dine with us on the only day in the week 
viien I could be at home. The railway facilities are so 
Excellent in England, that, no matter how far I might 
be from London, I could generally reach that city by 
Sunday morning, and yet do a full week s work in the 
provinces. This, however, necessitated travel Saturday 
night, and while I travelled I must sleep. Sleeping cars 
were, and, I believe, still are unknown in that country ; 
but I travelled so much, and was, by this time, so well 



230 IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

known to the guards on the leading lines, that I could 
generally secure one of the compartments in a first-class 
" coach" to myself, and my method for obtaining a good 
night s sleep, was to lay the seat-cushions on the floor 
of the car, thus, with my blanket to cover me, making a 
tolerable bed. 

On one of these Saturday night excursions, I lay down 
011 my extemporized couch, with the expectation of 
arriving at London at five o clock in the morning. 
When I awoke the car was standing still, and the sun 
was well up in the heavens. Thinking we were very 
much behind time, and wondering why the train did not 
go on, at last I got up and looked out of the window, 
and, to my utter amazement, I found my car locked up 
in a yard, surrounded by a high fence. Espying a man 
who seemed to have charge of the premises, I shouted 
to him to come and let me out of the car, which was 
also locked. It instantly flashed across my mind that at 
this station, the guard, seeing no person sitting on the 
seats in the car, and concluding that it was empty, had 
detached it from the train, and switched it o ff into the 
yard. The astonished man whom I summoned to my 
assistance, informed me that I was sixty miles from 
London, and that there would not be another train to 
the city till evening. It was ten o clock, and I was to 
have been home at five. I raised a great row 7 , and de 
manded as my right an extra train to carry me to Lon 
don, to meet the friends whom it was all-important I 
should see that day. I had to wait, however, till evening, 
and I arrived home at seven or eight o clock, long after 
my friends had gone, though to the great gratification 
of my family, who thought some serious accident must 
have happened to me. 



IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 231 

It must not be supposed that during my protracted 
stay abroad I confined myself wholly to business or 
limited my circle of observation with a golden rim. To 
be sure, I ever had " an eye to business," but I had also 
two eyes for observation and these were busily employed 
in leisure hours. I made the most of my opportunities 
and saw, hurriedly, it is true, nearly everything worth 
seeing in the various places which I visited. All Europe 
was a great curiosity shop to me and I willingly paid 
my money for the show. 

While in London, my friend Albert Smith, a jolly 
companion, as well as a witty and sensible author, prom 
ised that when I reached Birmingham he would come 
and spend a day with me in " sight-seeing," including a 
visit to the house in which Shakespeare was born. > 

Early one morning in the autumn of 1844, my friend 
Smith and myself took the box-seat of an English mail- 
coach, and were soon whirling at the rate of twelve 
miles an hour over the magnificent road leading from 
Birmingham to Stratford. The distance is thirty miles. 
At a little village four miles from Stratford, we found 
that the fame of the bard of Avon had travelled thus 
far, for we noticed a sign over a miserable barber s 
shop, " Shakespeare hair-dressing a good shave for a 
penny." In twenty minutes more we were set down at 
the door of the Red Horse Hotel, in Stratford. The 
coachman and guard were each paid half a crown as 
their perquisites. 

While breakfast was preparing, we called for a guide 
book to the town, and the waiter brought in a book, 
saying that we should find in it the best description 
extant of the birth and burial place of Shakespeare. I 
was not a little proud to find this volume to be no other 



232 IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

than the " Sketch-Book " of our illustrious countryman, 
Washington Irving ; and in glancing over his humor 
ous description of the place, I discovered that he had 
stopped at the same hotel where we were then await 
ing breakfast. 

After examining the Shakespeare House, as well as 
the tomb and the church in which all that is mortal 
of the great poet rests, we ordered a post-chaise for 
Warwick Castle. While the horses were harnessing, 
a stage-coach stopped at the hotel, and two gentlemen 
alighted. One was a sedate, sensible-looking man ; the 
other an addle-headed fop. The former was mild and 
unassuming in his manners ; the latter was all talk, 
without sense or meaning in fact, a regular Charles 
Chatterbox. He evidently had a high opinion of him 
self, and was determined that all within hearing should 
understand that he was somebody. Presently the 
sedate gentleman said : 

" Edward, this is Stratford. Let us go and see the 
house where Shakespeare was born." 

" Who the devil is Shakespeare ? " asked the sensible 
young gentleman. 

Our post-chaise was at the door ; we leaped into it, 
and were off, leaving the " nice young man " to enjoy a 
visit to the birth-place of an individual of whom he had 
never before heard. The distance to Warwick is four 
teen miles. We went to the Castle, and approaching 
the door of the Great Hall, were informed by a well- 
dressed porter that the Earl of Warwick and family 
were absent, and that he was permitted to show the 
apartments to visitors. He introduced us successively 
into the " Red Drawing-Room," " The Cedar Drawing- 
Room," "The Gilt Room," "The State Bed-Room," 



IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 233 

"Lady Warwick s Boudoir," "The Compass Room," 
"The Chapel," and "The Great Dining-Room." As 
we passed out of the Castle, the polite porter touched 
bis head (he of course had no hat on it) in a style which 
spoke plainer than words, " Half a crown each, if you 
please, gentlemen." We responded to the call, and 
were then placed in charge of another guide, who took 
us to the top of " Guy s Tower," at the bottom of which 
he touched his hat a shilling s worth ; and placing our 
selves in charge of a third conductor, an old man of 
seventy, we proceeded to the Greenhouse to see the 
Warwick Vase each guide announcing at the end of 
his short tour : " Gentlemen, I go no farther," and 
indicating that the bill for his services was to be paid. 
The old gentleman mounted a rostrum at the side of the 
vase, and commenced a set speech, which we began to 
fear was interminable ; so tossing him the usual fee, we 
left him in the middle of his oration. 

Passing through the porter s lodge on our way out, 
under the impression that we had seen all that was inter 
esting, the old porter informed us that the most curious 
things connected with the Castle were to be seen in his 
lodge. Feeling for our coin, we bade him produce his 
relics, and he showed us a lot of trumpery, which, he 
gravely informed us, belonged to that hero of antiquity, 
Guy, Earl of Warwick. Among these were his sword, 
shield, helmet, breast-plate, walking-staff, and tilting- 
pole, each of enormous size the horse armor nearly 
large enough for an elephant, a large pot which would 
hold seventy gallons, called " Guy s Porridge Pot," his 
flesh-fork, the size of a farmer s hay-fork, his lady s 
stirrups, the rib of a mastodon which the porter pre 
tended belonged to the great " Dun Cow," which,, 
H* 



234 IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

according to tradition, haunted a ditch near Coventry, 
and after doing injury to many persons, was slain by the 
valiant Guy. The sword weighed nearly 200 pounds, 
and the armor 400 pounds. 

I told the old porter he was entitled to great credit 
for having concentrated more lies than I had ever before 
heard in so small a compass. He smiled, and evidently 
felt gratified by the compliment. 

" I suppose," I continued, " that you have told these 
marvellous stories so often, that you believe them your 
self? " 

" Almost!" replied the porter, with a grin of satisfac 
tion that showed he was "up to snuff," and had really 
earned two shillings. 

" Come now, old fellow," said I, " what will you take 
for the entire lot of those traps ? I want them for my 
Museum in America." 

" No money would buy these valuable historical 
mementos of a by-gone age," replied the old porter 
with a leer. 

"Never mind," I exclaimed ; " I ll have them dupli 
cated for my Museum, so that Americans can see them 
and avoid the necessity of coming here, and in that way 
I ll burst up your show." 

Albert Smith laughed immoderately at the astonish 
ment of the porter when I made this threat, and I was 
greatly amused, some years afterwards, when Albert 
Smith became a successful showman and was exhibiting 
his " Mont Blanc " to delighted audiences in London, to 
discover that he had introduced this very incident into 
his lecture, of course, changing the names and locality. 
He often confessed that he derived his very first idea 
of becoming a showman from my talk about the business 



IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 235 

and my doings, on this charming day when we visited 
Warwick. 

The " Warwick races " were coming off that day, 
within half a mile of the village, and we therefore went 
down and spent an hour with the multitude. There 
was very little excitement regarding the races, and we 
concluded to take a tour through the " penny shows," 
the vans of which lined one side of the course for the 
distance of a quarter of a mile. On applying to enter 
one van, which had a large pictorial sign of giantesses, 
white negro, Albino girls, learned pig, hig snakes, etc., 
the keeper exclaimed: 

" Come, Mister, you is the man what hired Randall, 
the giant, for Merika, and you shows Tom Thumb ; now 
can you think of paying less than sixpence for going in 
here ? " 

The appeal was irresistible ; so, satisfying his 
demands, we entered. Upon coming out, a whole bevy 
of showmen from that and neighboring vans surrounded 
me, and began descanting on the merits and demerits of 
General Tom Thumb. 

" Oh," says one, " I knows two dwarfs what is better 
ten times as Tom Thumb." 

46 Yes," says another, " there s no use to talk about 
Tom Thumb while Melia Patton is above tlie ground." 

" Now, I ve seen Tom Thumb," added a third, " and 
he is a fine little squab, but the only vantage he s got is 
he can chaff so well. He chaffs like a man ; but I can 
learn Dick Swift in two months, so that he can chaff 
Tom Thumb crazy." 

" Never mind," added a fourth, " I ve got a chap 
training what you none on you knows, what 11 beat all 
the thumbs on your grapplers." 



236 IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

" No, he can t," exclaimed a fifth, " for Tom Thumb 
has got the name, and you all know the name s every 
thing. Tom Thumb could n t never shine, even in my 
van, long side of a dozen dwarfs I knows, if this Yan 
kee had n t bamboozled our Queen, God bless her 
by getting him afore her half a dozen times." 

"Yes, yes, that s the ticket," exclaimed another; 
" our Queen patronizes everything foreign, and yet she 
would n t visit my beautiful wax-works to save the crown 
of Hingland." 

" Your beautiful wax-works ! " they all exclaimed, 
with a hearty laugh. 

" Yes, and who says they haint beautiful ? " retorted 
the other ; " they was made by the best Hitalian hartist 
in this country." 

" They was made by Jim Caul, and showed all over 
the country twenty years ago," rejoined another ; " and 
arter that they laid five years in pawn in old Moll Wig- 
gin s cellar, covered with mould and dust." 

" Well, that s a good un, that is ! " replied the proprie 
tor of the beautiful wax- works, with a look of disdain. 

I made a move to depart, when one of the head 
showmen exclaimed, " Come, Mister, do n t be shabby ; 
can you think of going without standing treat al] 
round r 

" Why should I stand treat? " I asked. 

" Cause t ain t every day you can meet such a bloody 
lot of jolly brother-showmen," replied Mr. Wax-works. 

I handed out a crown, and left them to drink bad luck 
to the " foreign wagabonds what would bamboozle their 
Queen with inferior dwarfs, possessing no advantage 
over the natyves but the power of chaffing." 

While in the showmen s vans seeking for acquisitions 



IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 237 

to my Museum in America, I was struck with the tall 
appearance of a couple of females who exhibited as the 
" Canadian giantesses, each seven feet in height." Sus 
pecting that a cheat was hidden under their unfashion- 
ably long dresses, which reached to the floor and thus 
rendered their feet invisible, I attempted to solve the 
mystery by raising a foot or two of the superfluous cover 
ing. The strapping young lady, not relishing such 
liberties from a stranger, laid me flat upon the floor with 
a blow from her brawny hand. I was on my feet again in 
tolerably quick time, but not until I had discovered that 
she stood upon a pedestal at least eighteen inches high. 

We returned to the hotel, took a post-chaise, and 
drove through decidedly the most lovely country I ever 
beheld. Since taking that tour, I have heard that two 
gentlemen once made a bet, each, that he could name 
the most delightful drive in England. Many persons 
were present, and the two gentlemen wrote on separate 
slips of paper the scene which he most admired. One 
gentleman wrote, " The road from Warwick to Coven 
try ; " the other had written, " The road from Coventry 
to Warwick." 

In less than an hour we were set down at the outer 
walls of Kenil worth Castle, which Scott has greatly 
aided to immortalize in his celebrated novel of that 
name. This once noble and magnificent castle is now a 
stupendous ruin, which has been so often described 
that I think it unnecessary to say anything about it 
here. We spent half an hour in examining the inter 
esting ruins, and then proceeded by post-chaise to Cov 
entry, a distance of six or eight miles. Here we 
remained four hours, during which time we visited 
St. Mary s Hall, which has attracted the notice of many 



238 IN ENGLAND AGAIN. 

antiquaries. We also took our own " peep " at the 
effigy of the celebrated " Peeping Tom," after which 
we visited an exhibition called the " Happy Family," 
consisting of about two hundred birds and animals 
of opposite natures and propensities, all living in 
harmony together in one cage. This exhibition was so 
remarkable that I bought it and hired the proprietor to 
accompany it to New York, and it became an attractive 
feature in my Museum. 

We took the cars the same evening for Birmingham, 
where we arrived at ten o clock, Albert Smith remark 
ing, that never before in his life had he accomplished 
a day s journey on the Yankee go-ahead principle. He 
afterwards published a chapter in Bentleys Maga 
zine entitled " A Day with Barnum," in which he said 
we accomplished business with such rapidity, that 
when he attempted to write out the accounts of the 
day, he found the whole thing so confused in his brain 
that he came near locating " Peeping Tom " in the 
house of Shakespeare, while Guy of Warwick would 
stick his head above the ruins of Kenilworth, and the 
Warwick Vase appeared in Coventry. 



CHAPT_ER XV. 

EETUEN TO AMERICA. 

V .- v Wr -10 Yluii 

THE WIZARD OF THE NORTH A JUGGLER BEATEN AT HIS OWN TRICKS SECOND 
VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES REVEREND DOCTOR ROBERT BAIRD CAPTAIN 
JUDKINS THREATENS TO PUT ME IN IRONS VIEWS WITH REGARD TO SECTS 

A WICKED WOMAN THE SIMPSONS IN EUROPE REMINISCENCES OF TRAVEL. 

SAUCE AND "SASS" TEA TOO SWEET A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE ROAST 
DUCK SNOW IN AUGUST TALES OF TRAVELLERS SIMPSON NOT TO BE 
TAKEN IN HOLLANDERS IN BRUSSELS WHERE ALL THE DUTCHMEN COMB 
FROM THREE YEARS IN EUROPE WARM PERSONAL FRIENDS DOCTOR 
C. S. BREWSTER HENRY SUMNER GEORGE SAND LORENZO DRAPER 
GEORGE P. PUTNAM OUR LAST PERFORMANCE IN DUBLIN DANIEL o CON- 
NELL END OF OUR TOUR DEPARTURE FOR AMERICA ARRIVAL IN NEW 
YORK. 

WHILE I was at Aberdeen, in Scotland, I met Ander 
son, the " Wizard of the North." I had known him for 
a long time, and we were on familiar terms. The Gen 
eral s exhibitions were to close on Saturday night, and 
Anderson was to open in the same hall on Monday even 
ing. He came to our exhibition, and at the close we 
went to the hotel together to get a little supper. After 
supper we were having some fun and jokes together, 
when it occurred to Anderson to introduce me to sev 
eral persons who were sitting in the room, as the 
" Wizard of the North," at the same time asking me 
about my tricks and my forthcoming exhibition. He 
kept this up so persistently that some of our friends who 
were present, declared that Anderson was " too much 
for me," and, meanwhile, fresh introductions to stran 
gers who came in, had made me pretty generally 



240 EETUEN TO AMERICA. 

known in that circle as the " Wizard of the North," 
who was to astonish the town in the following week. I 
accepted the situation at last, and said : 

" Well, gentlemen, as I perform here for the first 
time, on Monday evening, I like to be liberal, and I 
should be very happy to give orders of admission to 
those of you who will attend my exhibition." 

The applications for orders were quite general, and 
I had written thirty or forty, when Anderson, who saw 
that I was in a fair way of filling his house with " dead 
heads," cried out 

" Hold on ! " I am the < Wizard of the North. 7 I ll 
stand the orders already given, but not another one." 

Our friends, including the " Wizard " himself, began 
to think that I had rather the best of the joke. 

During our three years stay abroad, I made a second 
hasty visit to America, leaving the General in England 
in the hands of my agents. I took passage from Liver 
pool on board a Cunard steamer, commanded by Captain 
Judkins. One of my fellow passengers was the cele 
brated divine, Robert Baird. I had known him as the 
author of an octavo volume, "Religion in America"; 
and while that work had impressed me as exhibiting 
great ability and an outspoken honesty of purpose, it 
had also given me the notion that its author must be 
very rigid and intolerant as a sectarian. Still I was 
happy to make his acquaintance on board the steamship, 
and soon regarded with favor the venerable Presbyterian 
divine. 

Dr. Baird had been for some time a missionary in 
Sweden. He was now paying a visit to his native land. 
I found him a shrewd, well-informed Christian gentle 
man, and I took much pleasure in hearing him con- 



RETURN TO AMERICA. 

verse. One night it was storming furiously. The 
waves, rolling high, afforded a sight of awful grandeur, 
to witness which I was tempted to put on a pea-jacket, 
go upon the deck, and lash myself to the side of the 
ship. After I had been there nearly an hour, wrapt in 
meditation and wonder, not unmixed with awe, Dr. 
Baird came up in the darkness, feeling his way cau 
tiously along the deck. As he came where I was, I 
hailed him ; and he asked what I was doing so long up 
there. 

" Listening to the preaching, Doctor," I replied ; " and 
I think it heats even yours, although I have never had 
the pleasure of hearing you." 

" Ah ! " he replied, " none of us can preach like this. 
How humble and insignificant we all feel in the pres 
ence of such a display of the Almighty power ; and how 
grateful we should be to remember that infinite love 
guides this power." 

The Sunday following, divine service was held as 
usual in the large after cabin. Of course it was the 
Episcopal form of worship. The captain conducted the 
services, assisted by the clerk and the ship s surgeon. 
A dozen or two of the sailors, shaved, washed, and 
neatly dressed, were marched into the cabin by the 
mate ; most of the passengers were also present. 

Those who have witnessed this service, as conducted 
by Captain Judkins, need not be reminded that he does 
it much as he performs his duties on deck. He speaks 
as one having authority ; and a listener could hardly 
help feeling that there would be some danger of a 
" row " if the petitions (made as a sort of command) 
were not speedily answered. 

After dinner I asked Dr. Baird if he would be will- 



24:2 RETURN TO AMERICA. 

ing to preach to the passengers in the forward cabin. 
He said he would cheerfully do so if it was desired. I 
mentioned it to the passengers, and there was a gen 
erally-expressed wish among them that he should 
preach. I went into the forward cabin, and requested 
the steward to arrange the chairs and tables properly 
for religious service. He replied that I must first get 
the captain s consent. Of course, I thought this was a 
mere matter of form ; so I went to the captain s office, 
and said : 

" Captain, the passengers desire to have Dr. Baird 
conduct a religious service in the forward cabin. I 
suppose there is no objection." 

" Decidedly there is," replied the captain, gruffly ; 
" and it will not be permitted." 

" Why not 1 ? " I asked, in astonishment. 

"It is against the rules of the ship." 

" What ! to have religious services on board ? " 

" There have been religious services once to-day, and 
that is enough. If the passengers do not think that is 
good enough, let them go without," was the captain s 
hasty and austere reply. 

" Captain," I replied, "do you pretend to say you will 
not allow a respectable and well-known clergyman to 
offer a prayer and hold religious services on board your 
ship at the request of your passengers ? " 

" That, sir, is exactly what I say. So, now, let me 
hear no more about it." 

By this time a dozen passengers were crowding around 
his door, and expressing their surprise at his conduct. 
I was indignant, and used sharp language. 

" Well," said I, " this is the most contemptible thing 
I ever heard of on the part of the owners of a public 



EETURN TO AMERICA. 243 

passenger ship. Their meanness ought to be published 
far and wide." 

" You had better shut up/ " said Captain Judkins, 
with great sternness. 

" I will not c shut up, " I replied ; " for this thing is 
perfectly outrageous. In that out-of-the-way forward 
cabin, you allow, on week days, gambling, swearing, 
smoking and singing, till late at night ; and yet on Sun 
day you have the impudence to deny the privilege of a 
prayer-meeting, conducted by a gray-haired and respected 
minister of the gospel. It is simply infamous ! " 

Captain Judkins turned red in the face ; and, no doubt 
feeling that he was " monarch of all he surveyed," 
exclaimed, in a loud voice : 

" If you repeat such language, I will put you in 



irons." 



" Do it, if you dare," said I, feeling my indignation 
rising rapidly. " I dare and defy you to put your finger 
on me. I would like to sail into New York Harbor in 
handcuffs, on board a British ship, for the terrible crime 
of asking that religious worship may be permitted on 
board. So you may try it as soon as you please ; and, 
when we get to New York, I ll show you a touch of 
Yankee ideas of religious intolerance." 

The captain made no reply ; and, at the request of 
friends, I walked to another part of the ship. I told 
the Doctor how the matter stood, and then, laughingly, 
said to him : 

" Doctor, it may be dangerous for you to tell of this 
incident when you get on shore ; for it would be a pretty 
strong draught upon the credulity of many of my country 
men if they were told that my zeal to hear an Orthodox 
minister preach was so great that it came near getting 



244 RETURN TO AMERICA. 

me into solitary confinement. But I am not prejudiced, 
and I like fair play." 

The old Doctor replied : " Well, you have not lost 
much ; and, if the rules of this ship are so stringent, I 
suppose we must submit." 

The captain and myself had no further intercourse for 
five or six days ; not until a few hours before our 
arrival in New York. Being at dinner, he sent his 
champagne bottle to me, and asked to " drink my 
health," at the same time stating that he hoped no ill 
feeling would be carried ashore. I was not then, as I 
am now, a teetotaler ; so I accepted the proffered truce, 
and I regret that I must add I " washed down" my 
wrath in a bottle of Heidsick a poor example, which 
I hope never to repeat. We have frequently met since, 
and always with friendly greetings ; but I have ever felt 
that his manners were unnecessarily coarse and offensive 
in carrying out an arbitrary and bigoted rule of the 
steamship company. 

Though I have never lacked definite opinions, or 
hesitated to exhibit decided preferences in regard to the 
different religious creeds, I have never been so sectarian 
as to imagine that any one of the denominations is with 
out any truth, or exists for no good purpose. On the 
contrary, I hold that every faith has somewhat of truth ; 
and that each sect, in its way, does a work which per 
haps no one of the other sects can do as well. I was 
strongly confirmed in this general belief by an im 
promptu utterance of Dr. Baird, during one of ouj 
conversations, which, under the circumstances, was not 
a little amusing, as it certainly evinced a good deal of 
insight into human nature. It is well known that the 
old Doctor was very rigid in his theological views, and 



RETURN TO AMERICA. 245 

in his career never spared either the Methodists or the 
people of the so-called liberal opinions. During our 
passage across the Atlantic, we very naturally had con 
siderable tilting in regard to opinions which divided us, 
though in a thoroughly good-natured way. At last I 
recalled the case of a woman, somewhat noted among 
her neighbors for coarseness of speech, including pro 
fanity, making her altogether such a person as needed 
the refining influence of religious teaching. Describing 
the very unpromising condition of this woman, I said : 

u Well, Doctor, if you can do anything with your 
creed to improve that woman, I should be glad to see 
you undertake the job." 

I was at once struck with the business air in which 
he considered the exigencies of what was undoubtedly a 
hard case. It was clear that he had dropped the 
character of the sectarian, and was taking a common- 
sense view of the problem. The problem was soon 
solved, and he replied : 

" Mr. Barnum, it is of no use for you, with your 
opinions, to attempt to do anything for that sort of a per 
son ; and it is equally useless for me, with my views, to 
attempt it either. But, if you could contrive a way to 
set some fiery, rousing Methodist to work upon her, 
why, he is just the man to do it ! " 

There were a number of pretty wild young men among 
our passengers, and on several occasions they tried their 
wits upon Dr, Baird. But he was a man of sterling 
common sense, and with that, very quick at repartee ; 
and they never made anything out of him. On one 
occasion, at dinner, they were in great glee, and, for a 
" lark," they sent him their champagne bottle to drink 
a glass of wine with them. They, of course, supposed 



245 ABTUEN TO AMERICA. 

he was a teetotaler, as, indeed, I believe he was ; but 
when the waiter handed him the bottle, he quietly poured 
a spoonful or two into his glass, and, gracefully bowing 
to the young gentlemen, placed it to his lips, but not 
tasting it. Of course, they could say nothing. 

Early one morning, several of these youths came 
upon deck, and, meeting the Doctor there, one of them 
exclaimed : 

* It is cold as hell this morning, ain t it, Doctor? " 

" I am unable to state the exact height of the ther 
mometer in that locality," said he, gravely ; " but I am 
afraid you will know all about it some time, if you 
are not careful." 

The laugh was decidedly against the young man ; 
but one of his companions, who thought considerably 
of himself, seemed anxious to take up the cudgel, and 
he remarked : 

" Dr. Baird, your brother clergymen are making a 
great ado in New York about the state of crime there ; 
and they have got a smelling-committee, who go about 
and smell out all filthy places there, and report them to 
the public. Indeed, they do say that several of the clergy, 
and some laymen of the Arthur Tappan stripe, have got 
a book in which they have written down a list of all the 
bad houses in New York. I should like to see that 
book. Ha ! ha ! I wonder if they have really got one T 

" I do n t know how that is," replied Doctor Baird ; 
" but," casting his eyes heavenward, " I can assure you 
there is a book in which all such places are recorded, as 
well as the names of those who occupy or visit them ; 
and in due time it will be opened to public gaze." 

The young man looked cowed, and extending his 
hand to Doctor Baird, said : 



RETURN TO AMERICA. 247 

" Sir, I confess I have made too light of a serious 
matter. I sincerely beg your pardon, if I have offended 
you." 

" You have not offended me," said the Doctor, with 
a benignant smile ; " but I am rejoiced to perceive that 
you have offended your own sense of propriety and 
morality. I trust you will not forget it." 

This was the last attempt on board that ship to try a 
Jance with Doctor Baird. 

Several years later, when I was engaged in the Jenny 
Lind enterprise, Doctor Baird called upon me. Having 
been so long a missionary in Sweden, the native land of 
the great songstress, he had a special desire to make her 
acquaintance and listen to her singing. I introduced 
him to her, and gave him the entree to her concerts. He 
improved the opportunity, and he also made frequent 
calls upon her. She became much interested in him. 
Indeed, on several occasions she contributed liberally to 
the charitable institutions he had recommended to her 
favorable notice. 

During my residence in London I made the acquaint 
ance of an American, whom I will call Simpson, and 
his wife. They had originally been poor, and accus 
tomed to pretty low society. Their opportunities for 
education had been limited, and they were what we 
should term vulgar, ignorant, common people. But by 
a turn of Fortune s wheel they became suddenly rich, 
and like some other fools who know nothing of their 
own country, they must rush to make the tour of 
Europe. 

Mr. Simpson was an ignorant, good-natured fellow, 
fond of sporting large amounts of jewelry ; was very 
social with Englishmen ; always bragging of our " glo- 

12 



248 (RETURN TO AMERICA. 

rious country " ; and was particularly given to boasting 
that he was once poor and now he was rich. When 
ever he met Americans he was delighted, and insisted 
on the privilege of " standing treats " to all around, 
familiarly slapping on the back, and treating as an old 
chum, any American gentleman, however refined, whom 
he might come in contact with. 

Mrs. Simpson was a coarse woman, yet always study 
ing politeness, and particularly the proper pronuncia 
tion of words. She was ever trying to appear refined ; 
and she prided herself upon understanding all the rules 
of etiquette and fashion. She was continually purchas 
ing new dresses and fashionable articles of apparel. 
She loaded herself down with diamonds and tawdry 
jewelry, and would frequently appear in the streets 
with six or eight different dresses in a day. But, 
strange to say, with all her pride and vanity with regard 
to being considered the perfection of refinement, she 
had an awful habit of using profane language ! She 
really seemed to think this an evidence of good breed 
ing. Perhaps she thought it a luxury which rich peo 
ple were entitled to enjoy. This peculiarity occasion 
ally led to most ludicrous scenes. 

The Simpsons were from New England ; and in their 
conversation they had the nasal Yankee twang, and the 
peculiar pronunciation of the illiterate class of the New 
England people. 

Those who have heard John E. Owens in Ci Solon 
Shingle," are aware that preserved fruits are in New 
England called " sauce," by the vulgar pronounced 
" sass." But when Mrs.. Simpson heard the word in 
England pronounced sauce, she was very anxious tlmt 
John, her husband, should adopt the new pronuncia? 



RETURN TO AMERICA. 249 

tion. He tried hard to learn, but would frequently 
forget himself and say " sass." Mrs. Simpson would 
lose ker patience on such occasions, and reprove her 
husband sharply. Indeed, if he escaped without re 
ceiving some profane epithet from the lips of his 
would-be fashionable wife, it was a wonder. 

On one occasion I happened to meet them at dinner 
with an English family in London, to whom I had, in 
the way of business, introduced them a few weeks pre 
viously. We had scarcely taken our seats at the table 
before Simpson happened to discover a dish of sweet 
meats at the further corner of the table. Turning to 
the servant he said : 

" Please pass me that sass." 

Mrs. Simpson s eyes flashed indignantly, and she 
angrily exclaimed, almost in a scream : 

" Say sauce ; don t say sass. I d rather hear you 
say h 1 a d d sight !" 

That our English hostess was amazed and shocked it 
is needless to say, although she preserved her equa 
nimity better than could be expected. As for myself, 
I confess I could not refrain from laughing, which, of 
course, served only to increase the wrath of Mrs. 
Simpson. 

Fourteen years subsequent to this event, I called on 
this English lady in company with an American friend. 
In the course of conversation, I happened to ask her ,*if 
she remembered about Mrs. Simpson s " sass." She 
took from a drawer her memorandum book, and showed 
us the above expression verbatim, which, she said, she 
wrote down the same day it was uttered ; and she added 
she had never been able to think of it since without 
^aughing. 



250 RETURN TO AMERICA. 

I met Simpson and his wife at a hotel in Marseilles, 
France, in the summer of 1845. Mrs. Simpson said 
she and Simpson had almost determined not to go to 
France at all when they " heard it was necessary to 
hire an interpreter to tell what folks said." Said she, 
"I told Simpson I did n t want to go among a set of 
folks who were such cussed fools they couldn t speak 
English ! But of course we must go to France just 
for the speech of the people when we get home, so 
here we are. For my part," she continued, " I speak 
English to these Frenchmen anyhow, and if they can t 
understand me they can go without understanding. 
The other morning, I told the waiter my tea w r as too 
sweet. I found afterwards that too sweet (toule de 
suite) was French for very quick. 

" Oui, madame, he replied, < oui, oui, que voulez 
vous ] (what will you have ?) " 

ci Too sweet, too sweet, I repeated, 4 too sweet, too 
sweet. Then I pointed to my tea, and said again, 
Too sweet, d n your stupid head, can t you under 
stand too sweet? The fool jumped around like a hen 
with her head cut off, and kept saying, c Oui, oui, 
madame, too sweet, qu est ceque c est ? (What is it ?) 
Finally an English gentleman asked me what was the 
matter, and when I told him, he explained by telling 
me that too sweet (toute de suite) in French meant 
quick, very quick, and that was what made the stupid 
waiter jump around so." 

B ut d n the French waiters," she continued, " I 
have got quit of them finally, for I have found out a 
language we both understand. 

" The same day my tea was too sweet, Simpson was 
out at dinner time ; and I went to the table alone. I 



RETURN TO AMERICA. 251 

called for soup, and the sap-heads brought me some 
sort of preserves. I then called for fish, and the fools 
could not understand me. Then I said, Bring me 
some chicken/ and d n em, they danced about in 
a quandary till I thought I should starve to death. But 
finally I thought of roast duck. I am dreadfully fond 
of duck, and I knew they always had stuffed ducks 
at dinner time. So I called to the waiter once more, 
and pointed to my plate and said, c quack, quack, quack, 
now do you understand V and the fool began to laugh, 
and said, Oui, rnadame, oui, oui, and off he ran, and 
soon brought me the nicest piece of duck you ever saw. 
So now every day at dinner, I say ; quack, quack, and 
I always get some first-rate duck." 

I congratulated her on having discovered a universal 
language. 

The same day, I met a young Englishman in the 
hotel, who had been travelling in Spain. During our 
conversation we were summoned to dinner. At the 
table d hote, Simpson happened to be seated exactly 
opposite us. As we continued our conversation, Simp 
son heard it, and his attention was particularly arrested 
it being something of a novelty to meet a stranger in 
these parts, who spoke our native tongue. The Eng 
lish gentleman mentioned that he ascended the Pyrenees 
the week previous. 

" I should like to have been with you," I remarked, 
" but I am almost too fat and lazy to climb high moun 
tains. I suppose you found it pretty hard work." 

" Yes, we had to rough it some ; we encountered 
considerable snow," he replied. 

" Snow ! " exclaimed Simpson, in astonishment. 

The Englishman looked with surprise at this inter- 



252 RETURN TO AMERICA. 

ruption ; for he did not know Simpson, nor had he ever 
heard him speak before. However, he quietly replied, 
" Yes, sir, snow." 

" Not by a d d sight, you didn t," replied Simp 
son, emphatically. " That wont go down. Snow in 
August wont do. I have seen snow myself in Connec 
ticut, the last of September, but it wont do in August, 
by a thundering sight." 

The Englishman sprang to his feet, but I hit him a 
nudge, and said, u It is all right. Excuse me; let me 
introduce my friend, Mr. Simpson, from America. He 
has travelled some, and it is pretty hard to take him in 
with big stories." 

He comprehended the matter instantly and sat down. 

" Yes, sir," remarked Simpson, " I have heard travel 
lers before, but August is a leetle too early for snow." 

" But suppose I should say it was not this year s 
snow ? " said the Englishman, who was ready now to 
carry on the joke. 

" Worse and worse," exclaimed Simpson, with a tri 
umphant laugh ; " if it would not melt in August, when 
in thunder would it melt ! You might as well say it 
would lay all the year round." 

" I give it up," said the Englishman, " you are too 
sharp for me." 

Simpson was delighted, and took special pains for 
several days to inform the interpreters in the neighbor 
ing hotels and billiard saloons, that he had " took 
down" an impudent John Bull, who had tried to stuff 
him with the idea that he had seen snow in August. 

I met the Simpsons afterwards in Brussels, and the 
head of the family, who had heard nothing but French 
spoken, outside of his own circle, for a long time, called 



HETUKN TO AMERICA. 253 

me in great glee to the door, to see and hear some 
Dutchmen, who were conversing together in the street. 

" There ! " exclaimed Simpson, " those fellows are 
Dutchmen ; I know by their talk." 

" Very well," said I, " how far do you suppose those 
Dutchmen are from their native place ? " 

" Why," replied Simpson, "I suppose they came from 
Western Pennsylvania ; that s where I have always seen 
em." 

With the exception of the brief time passed in mak 
ing two short visits to America, I had now passed three 
years with General Tom Thumb in Great Britain and 
on the Continent The entire period had been a season 
of unbroken pleasure and profit. I had immensely 
enlarged my business experiences and had made money 
and many friends. Among those to whom I am 
indebted for special courtesies while I was abroad are 
Dr. C. S. Brewster, whose prosperous professional 
career in Russia and France is well known, and Henry 
Sumner, Esq., who occupied a high position in the 
social and literary circles of Paris and who introduced 
me to George Sand and to many other distinguished 
persons. To both these gentlemen, as well as to Mr. 
John Nimmo, an English gentleman connected with 
Galignanis Messenger, Mr. Lorenzo Draper, the Ameri 
can Consul, and Mr. Dion Boucicault, I was largely 
indebted for attention. In London, two gentlemen 
especially merit my .warm acknowledgments for many 
valuable favors. I refer to the late Thomas Brettell, 
publisher, Hay market ; and Mr. E. Fillingham, Jr., 
Fenchurch Street. I was also indebted to Mr. G. P. 
Putnam, at that time a London publisher, for much 
useful information. 



254 RETURN TO AMERICA. 

We had visited nearly every city and town in France 
and Belgium, all the principal places in England and 
Scotland, besides going to Belfast and Dublin, in Ireland. 
I had several times met Daniel O Connell in private 
life and in the Irish capital I heard him make an 
eloquent and powerful public Repeal speech in Con 
ciliation HalL In Dublin, after exhibiting a week in 
Rotunda Hall, our receipts on the last day were 261, 
or $1,305, and the General also received 50, or 
$250, for playing the same evening at the Theatre 
Eoyal. Thus closing a truly triumphant tour, we set 
sail for New York, arriving in February 1847. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

AT HOME. 

RENEWING THE LEASE OF THE MUSEUM BUILDING TOM THUMB IN AMERICA 
TOUR THROUGH THE COUNTRY JOURNEY TO CUBA BARNUM A CURIOSITY 

RAISING TURKEYS CEASING TO BE A TRAVELLING SHOWMAN RETURN TO 
BRIDGEPORT ADVANTAGES AND CAPABILITIES OF THAT CITY SEARCH FOR A 
HOME THE FINDING BUILDING AND COMPLETION OF IRANISTAN GRAND 
HOUSE-WARMING BUYING THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OPENING THE PHIL 
ADELPHIA MUSEUM CATERING FOR QUAKERS THE TEMPERANCE PLEDGE 
AT THE THEATRE PURCHASING PEALE s PHILADELPHIA COLLECTION MY 
AGRICULTURAL AND ARBORICULTURAL DOINGS " GERSY BLEW " CHICKENS 

HOW I SOLD MY POTATOES HOW I BOUGHT OTHER PEOPLE S POTATOES 

CUTTING OFF GRAFTS MY DEER PARK MY GAME-KEEPER FRANK 
LESLIE PLEASURES OF HOME. 

ONE of my main objects in returning home at this 
time, was to obtain a longer lease of the premises occu 
pied by the American Museum. My lease had still three 
years to run, but Mr. Olmsted, the proprietor of the 
building, was dead, and I was anxious to make provision 
in time for the perpetuity of my establishment, for I 
meant to make the Museum a permanent institution in 
the city, and if I could riot renew my lease, I intended 
to build an appropriate edifice on Broadway. I finally 
succeeded, however, in getting the lease of the entire 
building, covering fifty-six feet by one hundred, for 
twenty-five years, at an annual rent of $10,000 and the 
ordinary taxes and assessments. I had already hired in 
addition the upper stories of three adjoining buildings. 
My Museum receipts were more in one day, than they 

formerly were in an entire week, and the establishment 
12* 



AT HOME. 



had become so popular that it was thronged at all hours 
from early morning to closing time at night. 

On my return, I promptly made use of General Tom 
Thumb s European reputation. He immediately ap 
peared in the American Museum, and for four weeks 
drew such crowds of visitors as had never been seen 
there before. He afterwards spent a month in Bridge 
port, with his kindred. To prevent being annoyed by 
the curious, who would be sure to throng the houses of 
his relatives, he exhibited two days at Bridgeport. The 
receipts, amounting to several hundred dollars, were 
presented to the Bridgeport Charitable Society. The 
Bridgeporters were much delighted to see their old 
friend, "little Charlie," again. They little thought, 
when they saw him playing about the streets a few 
years previously, that he was destined to create such 
sensation among the crowned heads of the old world ; 
and now, returning with his European reputation, he 
was, of course, a great curiosity to his former acquaint 
ances, as well as to the public generally. His Bridge 
port friends found that he had not increased in size dur 
ing the four and a half years of his absence, but they 
discovered that he had become sharp and witty, 
" abounding in foreign airs and native graces " ; in fact, 
that he was quite unlike the little, diffident country fel 
low whom they had formerly known. 

" We never thought Charlie much of a phenomenon 
when he lived among us," said one of the first citizens 
of the place, " but now that he has become Barnum- 
ized, he is a rare curiosity." 

But there was really no mystery about it ; the whole 
change made by training and travel, had appeared to 
me by degrees, and it came to the citizens of Bridgeport 



AT HOME. 257 

suddenly. The terms upon which I first engaged the 
lad showed that I had no over-sanguine expectations of 
his success as a " speculation." When I saw, however, 
that he was wonderfully popular, I took the greatest 
pains to engraft upon his native talent all the instruction 
he was capable of receiving. He was an apt pupil, and 
I provided for him the best of teachers. Travel and 
attrition with so many people in so many lands did the 
rest. The General left America three years before, a 
diffident, uncultivated little boy ; he came back an edu 
cated, accomplished little man. He had seen much, 
and had profited much. He went abroad poor, and he 
came home rich. 

On January 1, 1845, my engagement with the 
General at a salary ceased, and we made a new 
arrangement by which we were equal partners, the 
General, or his father for him, taking one-half of 
the profits. A reservation, however, was made of the 
first four weeks after our arrival in New York, during 
which he was to exhibit at my Museum for two 
hundred dollars. When we returned to America, the 
General s father had acquired a handsome fortune, and 
settling a large sum upon the little General personally, 
he placed the balance at interest, secured by bond 
and mortgage, excepting thirty thousand dollars, with 
which he purchased land near the city limits of Bridge 
port, and erected a large and substantial mansion, 
where he resided till the day of his death, and 
in which his only two daughters were married, one 
in 1850, the other in 1853. His only son, besides the 
General, was born in 1851. All the family, except 
" little Charlie," are of the usual size. 

After spending a month in visiting his friends, it was 



258 AT HOME. 

determined that the General and his parents should 
travel through the United States. I agreed to accom 
pany them, with occasional intervals of rest at home, 
for one year, sharing the profits equally, as in England. 
We proceeded to Washington city, where the General 
held his levees in April, 1847, visiting President Polk 
and lady at the White House thence to Rich 
mond, returning to Baltimore and Philadelphia. Our 
receipts in Philadelphia in twelve days were $5,594.91. 
The tour for the entire year realized about the same 
average. The expenses were from twenty-five dollars 
to thirty dollars per day. From Philadelphia we went 
to Boston, Lowell, and Providence. Our receipts on 
one day in the latter city were $976.97. We then 
visited New Bedford, Fall River, Salem, Worcester, 
Springfield, Albany, Troy, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and 
intermediate places, and in returning to New York we 
stopped at the principal towns on the Hudson River, 
After this we visited New Haven, Hartford, Portland, 
Me., and intermediate towns. 

I was surprised to find that, during my long absence 
abroad, I had become almost as much of a curiosity to my 
patrons as I was to the spinster from Maine who once 
came to see me and to attend the " services " in my 
Lecture Room. If I showed myself about the Museum 
or wherever else I was known, I found eyes peering 
and fingers pointing at me, and could frequently over 
hear the remark, " There s Barnum." On one occasion 
soon after my return, I was sitting in the ticket-office 
reading a newspaper. A man came and purchased a. 
ticket of admission. " Is Mr. Barnum in the Museum ?" 
he asked. The ticket-seller, pointing *to me, answered, 
" This is Mr. Barnum." Supposing th^ gentleman had 



AT HOME. 259 

business with me, I looked up from the paper. "Is 
this Mr. Barnum I " he asked. " It is," I replied. He 
stared at me for a moment, and then, throwing down 
his ticket, exclaimed, " It s all right ; I have got the 
worth of my money " ; and away he went, without 
going into the Museum at all ! 

In November, 1847, we started for Havana, taking 
the steamer from New York to Charleston, where the 
General exhibited, as well as at Columbia, Augusta, 
Savannah, Milledgeville, Macon, Columbus, Montgom 
ery, Mobile and New Orleans. At this latter city we 
remained three weeks, including Christmas and New 
Year s. We arrived in Havana by the schooner Adams 
Gray, in January, 1848, and were introduced to the Cap 
tain-General and the Spanish nobility. We remained a 
month in Havana and Matanzas, the General proving 
an immense favorite. In Havana he was the especial 
pet of Count Santovania. In Matanzas we were very 
much indebted to the kindness of a princely American 
merchant, Mr. Brinckerhoff. Mr. J. S. Thrasher, the 
American patriot and gentleman, was also of great assist 
ance to us, and placed me under deep obligations. 

The hotels in Havana are not good. An American 
who is accustomed to substantial living, finds it difficult 
to get enough to eat. We stopped at the Washington 
House, which at that time was " first-rate bad." It was 
filthy, and kept by a woman who was drunk most of 
^ the time. Several Americans boarded there who were 
"tegular gormandizers. One of them, seeing a live tur 
key on a New Orleans vessel, purchased and presented 
it to the landlady. It was a small one, and when it 
was carved, there was not enough of it to " go round." 
An American, (a large six-footer and a tremendous 



260 AT HOME. 

eater,) who resided on a sugar plantation near Havana, 
happened to sit near the carver, and seeing an Amer 
ican turkey so near him, and feeling that it was a rare 
dish for that latitude, kept helping himself, so that 
when the carving was finished, he had eaten about one 
half of the turkey. Unfortunately the man who bought 
it was sitting at the further end of the table, and did 
not get a taste of the coveted bird. He was indig 
nant, especially against the innocent gormandizer from 
the sugar plantation, who, of course, was not acquainted 
with the history of the turkey. When they arose from 
the table, the planter smacked his lips, and patting 
his stomach, remarked, " That was a glorious turkey. 
I have not tasted one before these two years. I am very 
fond of them, and when I go back to my plantation I 
mean to commence raising turkeys." 

" If you do n t raise one before you leave town, you ll 
be a dead man," said the disappointed poultry pur 
chaser. 

From Havana we went to New Orleans, wnere we 
remained several days, and from New Orleans we pro 
ceeded to St. Louis, stopping at the principal towns on 
me Mississippi river, and returning via Louisville, Cin 
cinnati, and Pittsburgh. We reached the latter city 
<^arly in May, Ib48. From this point it was agreed 
between Mr. Stratum and myself, that I should go 
home and henceforth travel no more with the little Gen 
eral. I had competent agents who could exhibit him 
without my personal assistance, and I preferred to 
relinquish a portion of the profits, rather than continue 
to be a travelling showman. I had now been a strag 
gler from home most of the time for thirteen years, and 
I cannot describe the feelings of gratitude with which I 



AT HOME. 261 

reflected, that having by the most arduous toil and depri 
vations succeeded in securing a satisfactory compe 
tence, I should henceforth spend my days in the bosom 
of my family. I was fully determined that no pecu 
niary temptation should again induce me to forego the 
enjoyments to be secured only in the circle of home. I 
reached my residence in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in the 
latter part of May, rejoiced to find my family and friends 
in good health, and delighted to find myself once more 
at home. 

My new home, which was then nearly ready for occu 
pancy, was the well-known Iranistan. More than two 
years had been employed in building this beautiful 
residence. In 1846, finding that fortune was con 
tinuing to favor me, I began to look forward eagerly to 
the time when I could withdraw from the whirlpool of 
business excitement and settle down permanently with 
my family, to pass the remainder of my days in compar 
ative rest. 

I wished to reside within a few hours of New York. 
I had never seen more delightful locations than there 
are upon the borders of Long Island Sound, between 
New Rochelle, New York, and New Haven, Connecti 
cut; and my attention was therefore turned in that 
direction. Bridgeport seemed to be about the proper 
distance from the great metropolis. It is pleasantly sit 
uated at the terminus of two railroads, which trav 
erse the fertile valleys of the Naugatuck and Hou- 
satonic rivers. The New York and New Haven Railroad 
runs through the city, and there is also daily steamboat 
communication with New York. The enterprise which 
characterized the city, seemed to mark it as destined to 
become the first in the State in size and opulence ; and 



262 AT HOME. 

I was not long in deciding, with the concurrence of mv 
wife, to fix our future residence in that vicinity. 

I accordingly purchased seventeen acres of land, less 
than a mile west of the city, and fronting with a good 
view upon the Sound. Although nominally in Bridge 
port, my property was really in Fairfield, a few rods 
west of the Bridgeport line. In deciding upon the kind 
of house to be erected, I determined, first and foremost, 
to consult convenience and comfort. I cared little for 
style, and my wife cared still less ; but as we meant to 
have a good house, it might as well, at the same time, 
be unique. In this, I confess, I had " an eye to 
business," for I thought that a pile of buildings of a 
novel order might indirectly serve as an advertisement 
of my Museum. 

In visiting Brighton, in England, I had been greatly 
pleased with the Pavilion erected by George IV. It 
was the only specimen of Oriental architecture in 
England, and the style had not been introduced into 
America. I concluded to adopt it, and engaged a Lon 
don architect to furnish me a set of drawings after the 
general plan of the Pavilion, differing sufficiently to be 
adapted to the spot of ground selected for my home 
stead. On my second return visit to the United States, 
I brought these drawings with me and engaged a com 
petent architect and builder, giving him instructions to 
proceed with the work, not " by the job " but " by the 
day," and to spare neither time nor expense in erecting 
a comfortable, convenient, and tasteful residence. The 
work was thus begun and continued while I was still 
abroad, and during the time when I was making my 
tour with General Tom Thumb through the United 
States and Cuba. New and magnificent avenues 



m&m 




AT HOME. 263 

opened in the vicinity of my property. The building 
progressed slowly, but surely and substantially. Ele 
gant and appropriate furniture was made expressly for 
every room in the house. I erected expensive water 
works to supply the premises. The stables, conserva 
tories and out-buildings were perfect in their kind. 
There was a profusion of trees set out on the grounds. 
The whole was built and established literally " regard 
less of expense," for I had no desire even to ascertain 
the entire cost. All I cared to know was that it suited 
me, and that would have been a small consideration 
with me if it had not also suited my family. 

The whole was finally completed to my satisfaction. 
My family removed into the premises, and, on the four 
teenth of November, 1848, nearly one thousand invited 
guests, including the poor and the rich, helped us in the 
old-fashioned custom of " house-warming." 

When the name " Iranistan " was announced, a wag 
gish New York editor syllabled it, I-ran-i-stan, and gave 
as the interpretation, that " I ran a long time before I 
could stan ! " Literally, however, the name signifies, 
" Eastern Country Place," or, more poetically, "Ori 
ental Villa." 

The plot of ground upon which Iranistan was erected, 
was at the date of my purchase, in March 1846, a bare 
field. But I transplanted many hundreds of fruit and 
forest trees, some of the latter of very large growth 
when they were moved, and thus in a few years iny 
premises were adorned with what, in the ordinary pro 
cess of growth, would have required a whole generation. 
I have never waited for my trees to grow, if money 
would transplant them of nearly full growth at the start. 

The years 1848 and 184:9 were mainly spent with 



264 AT HOME. 

my family, though I went every week to New York to 
look after the interests of the American Museum. 
While I was in Europe, in 1845, my agent, Mr. Fordyce 
Hitchcock, had bought out for me the Baltimore 
Museum, a fully-supplied establishment, in full opera 
tion, and I placed it under the charge of my uncle, 
Alanson Taylor. He died in 1846, and I then sold 
the Baltimore Museum to the " Orphean Family," by 
whom it was subsequently transferred to Mr. John E. 
Owens, the celebrated comedian. After my return 
from Europe, I opened, in 1849, a Museum in Dr. 
Swain s fine building, at the corner of Chestnut and 
Seventh streets, in Philadelphia. 

This was in all respects a first-class establishment. 
It was elegantly fitted up, and contained, among other 
things, a dozen fine large paintings, such as " The Del 
uge," " Cain and his Family," and other similar subjects 
which I had ordered copied, when I was in Paris, from 
paintings in the gallery of the Louvre. There was also 
a complete and valuable collection of curiosities and I 
sent from New York, from time to time, my transient 
novelties in the way of giants, dwarfs, fat boys, animals 
and other attractions. There was a lecture room and 
stage for dramatic entertainments ; but I was catering 
for a Quaker population, and was careful to introduce 
or permit nothing which could possibly be objectionable. 
While the Museum contained such wax-works as " The 
Temperate Family," " The Intemperate Family," and 
Mrs. Pelby s representation of " The Last Supper," the 
theatre presented " The Drunkard " and other moral 
dramas. The most respectable people in the city patron 
ized the Museum and attended the theatre. " The 
Drunkard" was exceedingly well played and it made a 



AT HOME. 265 

great impression. There was a temperance pledge in 
the box-office, which was signed by thousands during 
the run of the piece. Almost every hour during the 
day and evening, women could be seen bringing their 
husbands to the Museum to sign the pledge. 

I stayed in Philadelphia long enough to identify my 
self with this Museum and to successfully start the 
enterprise and then left it in the hands of different 
managers who profitably conducted it till 1851, when, 
finding that it occupied too much of my time and attention, 
I sold it to Mr. Clapp Spooner for $40,000. At the end 
of that year, the building and contents were destroyed 
by fire. The loss was a serious one to Philadelphia, 
and the people were very desirous that Mr. Spooner 
should rebuild the establishment ; but a highly profita 
ble business connection with the Adams Express Com 
pany prevented him from doing so. 

While my Philadelphia Museum was in full opera 
tion, Peale s Museum ran me a strong opposition at the 
Masonic Hall. That enterprise proved disastrous, and 
I purchased the collection at sheriff s sale, for five or 
six thousand dollars, on joint account of my friend 
Moses Kimball and myself. The curiosities were 
equally divided, one-half going to his Boston Museum 
and the other half to my American Museum in New 
York. 

In 1848 I was elected President of the Fairfield 
County Agricultural Society in Connecticut. Although 
not practically a farmer, I had purchased about one 
hundred acres of land in the vicinity of my residence, 
and felt and still feel a deep interest in the cause of 
agriculture. I had begun by importing some blood 
stock for Iranistan, and, as I was at one time attacked 



266 AT HOME. 

by the " hen fever," I erected several splendid poultry- 
houses on my grounds. These were built for me by 
a carpenter who wrote an application for a situation, 
sending me a frightfully mis-spelled letter, in which he 
said that he was " youste " to hard work. I thought if 
his work was as strong as his spelling, he was the man 
I wanted, and I employed him. When the time came 
to prepare for our agricultural fair in the fall, he 
made a series of gorgeous cages in which to exhibit my 
shanghaes, bantams, and other fancy fowls. I went 
out to see them before they were sent away, and was 
horrified to find that he had marked the cages in his 
own peculiar style, describing my " Jersey Blues," for 
instance, in startling capitals as " Gersy Blews." I 
called for a jack-plane to remove every mark on the 
cages and told the astonished carpenter that he might 
do anything in the world for me, except to spell. 

In 1849 it was determined by the Society that I 
should deliver the annual address. I begged to be ex 
cused on the ground of incompetency, but my excuses 
were of no avail, and as I could not instruct my auditors 
in farming, I gave them the benefit of several mistakes 
which I had committed. Among other things, I told 
them that in the fall of 1848 my head gardener reported 
that I had fifty bushels of potatoes to spare. I there 
upon directed him to barrel them up and ship them to 
New York for sale. He did so, and received two dol 
lars per barrel, or about sixty-seven cents per bushel. 
But, unfortunately, after the potatoes had been shipped, 
I found that my gardener had selected all the largest for 
market, and left my family nothing but " small potatoes " 
to live on during the winter. But the worst is still to 
come. My potatoes were all gone before March, and I 



AT HOME. 267 

was obliged to buy, during the spring, over fifty bushels 
of potatoes, at f 1.25 per bushel ! I also related my first 
experiment in the arboricultural line, when I cut from 
two thrifty rows of young cherry-trees any quantity of 
what I supposed to be " suckers," or " sprouts," and 
was thereafter informed by my gardener that I had cut 
off all his grafts ! 

A friend of mine, Mr. James D. Johnson, lived in a 
fine house a quarter of a mile west of Iranistan, and as 
I owned several acres of land at the corner of two streets 
directly adjoining his homestead, I surrounded the ground 
with high pickets, and introducing a number of Rocky 
Mountain elk, reindeer, and American deer, I converted 
it into a deer park. Strangers passing by would natu 
rally suppose that it belonged to Johnson s estate, and 
to render the illusion more complete, his son-in-law, 
Mr. S. H. Wales, of the Scientific American, placed a 
sign in the park, fronting on the street, and reading : 

" ALL PERSONS ARE FORBID TRESPASSING ON THESE 
GROUNDS, OR DISTURBING THE DEER. J. D. JoHNSON." 

I " acknowledged the corn," and was much pleased 
with the joke. Johnson was delighted, and bragged 
considerably of having got ahead of Barnum, and the 
sign remained undisturbed for several days. It happened 
at length that a party of friends came to visit him from 
New York, arriving in the evening. Johnson told them 
he had got a capital joke on Barnum ; he would not ex 
plain, but said they should see it for themselves the next 
morning. Bright and early he led them into the street, 
and after conducting them a proper distance, wheeled 
them around in front of the sign. To his dismay he 
discovered that I had added directly under his name the 



268 AT HOME. 

words, " Game-keeper to P. T. Barnum" His friends, 
as soon as they understood the joke, enjoyed it mightily, 
but it was said that neighbor Johnson laughed out of 
" the wrong side of his mouth." 

Thereafter, Mr. Johnson was known among his 
friends and acquaintances as " Barnum s game-keeper." 
Sometime afterwards when I was President of the 
Pequonnock Bank, it was my custom every year to give 
a grand dinner at Iranistan to the directors, and in 
making preparations I used to send to certain friends 
in the West for prairie chickens and other game. On 
one occasion a large box, marked " P. T. Barnum, 
Bridgeport ; Game," was lying in the express office, when 
Johnson seeing it, and espying the word " game," said : 

" Look here ! I am Barnum s game-keeper, and I ll 
take charge of this box." 

And " take charge " of it he did, carrying it home 
and notifying me that it was in his possession, and that 
as he was my game-keeper he would " keep " this, 
unless I sent him an order for a new hat. He knew 
very well that I would give fifty dollars rather than be 
deprived of the box, and as he also threatened to give 
a game dinner at his own house, I speedily sent the 
order for the hat, acknowledged the good joke, and my 
own guests enjoyed the double " game." 

During the year 1848, Mr. Frank Leslie, since so 
widely known as the publisher of several illustrated 
journals, came to me with letters of introduction from 
London, and I employed him to get up for me an illus 
trated catalogue of my Museum. This he did in a 
splendid manner, and hundreds of thousands of copies 
were sold and distributed far and near, thus adding 
greatly to the renown of the establishment. 



AT HOME. 269 

I count these two years 1848 and 1849 among 
the happiest of my life. I had enough to do in the 
management of my business, and yet I seemed to have 
plenty of leisure hours to pass with my family and 
friends in my beautiful home of Iranistan. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 

GRAND SCHEME CONGRESS OF ALL NATIONS A BOLD AND BRILLIANT ENTER 
PRISE THE JENNY LIND ENGAGEMENT MY AGENT IN EUROPE HIS 
INSTRUCTIONS .CORRESPONDENCE WITH MISS LIND BENEDICT AND BEL- 
LETTI JOSHUA BATES CHEVALIER WYCKOFF THE CONTRACT SIGNED 
MY RECEPTION OF THE NEWS THE ENTIRE SUM OF MONEY FOR THE 
ENGAGEMENT SENT TO LONDON MY FIRST LIND LETTER TO THE PUBLIC 
A POOR PORTRAIT MUSICAL NOTES IN WALL STREET A FRIEND IN 
NEED. 

MANY of my most fortunate enterprises have fairly 
startled me by the magnitude of their success. When 
my sanguine hopes predicted a steady flow of fortune, 
I have been inundated ; when I calculated upon mak 
ing a curious public pay me liberally for a meritorious 
article, I have often found the same public eager to 
deluge me with compensation. Yet, I never believed 
in mere luck and I always pitied the simpleton who 
relies on luck for his success. Luck is in no sense the 
foundation of my fortune ; from the beginning of my 
career I planned and worked for my success. To be 
sure, my schemes often amazed me with the affluence 
of their results, and, arriving at the very best, I some 
times " builded better than" I " knew." 

For a long time I had been incubating a plan for an 
extraordinary exhibition which I was sure would be a 
success and would excite universal attention and com 
mendation in America and abroad. This was nothing 



THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 271 

less than a " Congress of Nations " an assemblage of 
representatives of all the nations that could be reached 
by land or sea. I meant to secure a man and woman, 
as perfect as could be procured, from every accessible 
people, civilized and barbarous, on the face of the 
globe. I had actually contracted with an agent to go 
to Europe to make arrangements to secure " specimens " 
for such a show. Even now, I can conceive of no 
exhibition which would be more interesting and which 
would appeal more generally to all classes of patrons. 
As it was, and while positively preparing for such a 
congress, it occurred to me that another great enterprise 
could be undertaken at less risk, with far less real 
trouble, and with more remunerative results. 

And now I come to speak of an undertaking which 
my worst enemy will admit was bold in its conception, 
complete in its development, and astounding in its suc 
cess. It was an enterprise never before or since 
equalled in managerial annals. As I recall it now, I 
almost tremble at the seeming temerity of the attempt. 
That I am proud of it I freely confess. It placed me 
before the world in a new light ; it gained me many 
warm friends in new circles ; it was in itself a fortune 
to me I risked much but I made more. 

It was in October 1849, that I conceived the idea of 
bringing Jenny Lind to this country. I had never heard 
her sing, inasmuch as she arrived in London a few weeks 
after I left that city with General Tom Thumb. Her 
reputation, however, was sufficient for me. I usually 
jump at conclusions, and almost invariably find that my 
first impressions are correct. It struck me, when I first 
thought of this speculation, that if properly managed it 
must prove immensely profitable, provided I could 



272 THE JENNY LIND ENTEEPEISE. 

engage the " Swedish Nightingale" on any terms within 
the range of reason. As it was a great undertaking, I 
considered the matter seriously for several days, and all 
my " cipherings " and calculations gave but one result 
immense success. 

Reflecting that very much would depend upon the 
manner in which she should be brought before the 
public, I saw that my task would be an exceedingly 
arduous one. It was possible, I knew, that circum 
stances might occur which would make the enterprise 
disastrous. " The public " is a very strange animal, and 
although a good knowledge of human nature will gen 
erally lead a caterer of amusements to hit the people, 
*hey are fickle, and ofttimes perverse. A slight misstep 
in the management of a public entertainment, frequently 
wrecks the most promising enterprise. But I had 
marked the " divine Jenny " as a sure card, and to 
secure the prize I began to cast about for a competent 
ngent. 

I found in Mr. John Hall Wilton, an Englishman 
who had visited this country with the Sax-Horn Players, 
^he best man whom I knew for that purpose. A few 
minutes sufficed to make the arrangement with him, by 
which I was to pay but little more than his expenses if 
he failed in his mission, but by which also he was to be 
paid a large sum if he succeeded in bringing Jenny 
Lind to our shores, on any terms within a liberal 
schedule which I set forth to him in writing. 

On the 6th of November, 1849, I furnished Wilton 
ivith the necessary documents, including a letter of 
general instructions which he was at liberty to exhibit 
to Jenny Lind and to any other musical notables whom 
he thought proper, and a private letter, containing hints 



THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 273 

and suggestions not embodied in the former. I also 
gave him letters of introduction to my bankers, Messrs. 
Baring Brothers & Co., of London, as well as to many 
friends in England and France. 

The sum of all my instructions, public and private, 
to Wilton amounted to this : He was to engage her on 
shares, if possible. I, however, authorized him to 
engage her at any rate, not exceeding one thousand 
dollars a night, for any number of nights up to one 
hundred and fifty, with all her expenses, including 
servants, carriages, secretary, etc., besides also engaging 
such musical assistants, not exceeding three in number, 
as she should select, let the terms be what they might. 
If necessary, I should place the entire amount of money 
named in the engagement in the hands of London 
bankers before she sailed. Wilton s compensation was 
arranged on a kind of sliding scale, to be governed by 
the terms which he made for me so that the farther 
he kept below my utmost limits, the better he should be 
paid for making the engagements. He proceeded to 
London, and opened a correspondence with Miss Lind, 
who was then on the Continent. He learned from the 
tenor of her letters, that if she could be induced to 
visit America at all, she must be accompanied by 
Mr. Julius Benedict, the accomplished composer, pianist, 
and musical director, and also she was impressed with 
the belief that Signor Belletti, the fine baritone, would 
be of essential service. Wilton therefore at once called 
upon Mr. Benedict and also Signor Belletti, who were 
both then in London, and in numerous interviews was 
enabled to learn the terms on which they would consent 
to engage to visit this country with Miss Lind. Having 
obtained the information desired, he proceeded to 



274 . THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 

Lubeck, in Germany, to seek an interview with Miss 
Lind herself. Upon arriving at her hotel, he sent his 
card, requesting her to specify an hour for an interview. 
She named the following morning, and he was punctual 
to the appointment. 

In the course of the first conversation, she frankly 
told him that during the time occupied by their cor 
respondence, she had written to friends in London, 
including my friend Mr. Joshua Bates, of the house 
of Baring Brothers, and had informed herself respect 
ing my character, capacity, and responsibility, which she 
assured him were quite satisfactory. She informed 
him, however, that at that time there were four per 
sons anxious to negotiate with her for an American tour. 
One of these gentlemen was a well-known opera man 
ager in London ; another, a theatrical manager in Man 
chester ; a third, a musical composer and conductor of the 
orchestra of Her Majesty s Opera in London ; and the 
fourth, Chevalier Wyckoff, a person who had conducted 
a successful speculation some years previously by visit 
ing America in charge of the celebrated danseuse, 
Fanny Ellsler. Several of these parties had called upon 
her personally, and Wyckoff upon hearing my name, 
attempted to deter her from making any engagement 
with me, by assuring her that I was a mere showman, 
and that, for the sake of making money by the spec 
ulation, I would not scruple to put her into a box 
and exhibit her through the country at twenty-five 
cents a head. 

This, she confessed, somewhat alarmed her, and she 
wrote to Mr. Bates on the subject. He entirely dis 
abused her mind, by assuring her that he knew me 
personally, and that in treating with me she was not 



THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 275 

dealing with an " adventurer " who might make her 
remuneration depend entirely upon the success of the 
enterprise, but I was able to carry out all my engage 
ments, let them prove never so unprofitable, and she 
could place the fullest reliance upon my honor and 
integrity. 

"Now," said she to Mr. Wilton, "I am perfectly 
satisfied on that point, for I know the world pretty well, 
and am aware how far jealousy and envy will some 
times carry persons ; and as those who are trying to 
treat with me are all anxious that I should participate 
in the profits or losses of the enterprise, I much pre 
fer treating with you , since your principal is willing to 
assume all the responsibility, and take the entire man 
agement and chances of the result upon himself." 

Several interviews ensued, during which she learned 
from Wilton that he had settled with Messrs. Benedict 
and Belletti, in regard to the amount of their salaries, 
provided the, engagement was concluded, and in the 
course of a week, Mr. Wilton and Miss Lind had 
arranged the terms and conditions on which she was 
ready to conclude the negotiations. As these terms 
Avere within the limits fixed in my private letter of 
instructions, the following agreement was duly drawn in 
triplicate, and signed by herself and Wilton, at Lubeck, 
January 9, 1850 ; and the signatures of Messrs. Bene 
dict and Belletti were affixed in London a few days 
afterwards : 

MEMORANDUM of an agreement entered into this ninth day of January, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty, between John Hall 
Wilton, as agent for PHINEAS T. BARNUM, of New York, in the United States of 
North America, of the one part, and Mademoiselle JENNY LIND, Vocalist, of 
Stockholm in Sweden, of the other part, wherein the said Jenny Lind doth agree: 

1st. To sing for the said Phineas T. Barnum in one 
hundred and fifty concerts, including oratorios, within 



276 THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE, 

(if possible) one year, or eighteen months from the date 
of her arrival in the City of New York the said con 
certs to be given in the United States of North America 
and Havana. She, the said Jenny Lind, having full 
control as to the number of nights or concerts in each 
week, and the number of pieces in which she will sing 
in each concert, to be regulated conditionally with her 
health and safety of voice, but the foitmer never less 
than one or two, nor the latter less than four ; but in no 
case to appear in operas. 

2d. In consideration of said services, the said John 
Hall Wilton, as agent for the said Phineas T. Barnum, 
of New York, agrees to furnish the said Jenny Lind 
with a servant as waiting-maid, and a male servant to 
and for the sole service of her and her party ; to pay the 
travelling and hotel expenses of a friend to accompany 
her as a companion ; to pay also a secretary to superin 
tend her finances ; to pay all her and her party s travel 
ling expenses from Europe, and during the tour in the 
United States of North America and Havana ; to pay 
all hotel expenses for board and lodging during the 
same period ; to place at her disposal in each city a car 
riage and horses with their necessary attendants, and to 
give her in addition, the sum of two hundred pounds 
sterling, dr one thousand dollars, for each concert or 
oratorio in which the said Jenny Lind shall sing. 

3d. And the said John Hall Wilton, as agent for the 
said Phineas T. Barnum, doth further agree to give the 
said Jenny Lind the most satisfactory security and assur 
ance for the full amount of her engagement, which shall 
be placed in the hands of Messrs. Baring Brothers, of 
London, previous to the departure and subject to the 

order of the said Jenny Lind, with its interest due on 
fliiniw t ottOj/3io pfljDWfMfi <8ji!K>flOT x^i 



THE JENNY LIND ENTEKPKISE. 277 

its current reduction, by her services in the concerts or 
oratorios. 

4th. And the said John Hall Wilton, on the part of 
the said Phineas T. Barnum, further agrees, that should 
the said Phineas T. Barnum, after seventy-five concerts, 
have realized so much as shall, after paying all current 
expenses, have returned to him all the sums disbursed, 
either as deposits at interest, for securities of salaries, 
preliminary outlay, or moneys in any way expended 
consequent on this engagement, and in addition, have 
gained a clear profit of at least fifteen thousand pounds 
sterling, then the said Phineas T. Barnum will give the 
said Jenny Lind, in addition to the former sum of one 
thousand dollars current money of the United States of 
North America, nightly, one fifth part of the profits 
.arising from the remaining seventy -five concerts or ora 
torios, after deducting every expense current and 
appertaining thereto ; or the said Jenny Lind agrees to 
try with the said Phineas T. Barnum fifty concerts or 
oratorios on the aforesaid and first-named terms, and if 
then found to fall short of the expectations of the said 
Phineas T. Barnum, then the said Jenny Lind agrees to 
reorganize this agreement, on terms quoted in his first 
proposal, as set forth in the annexed copy of his letter ; 
but should such be found unnecessary, then the engage 
ment continues up to seventy-five concerts or oratorios, 
at the end of which, should the aforesaid profit of fifteen 
thousand pounds sterling have not been realized, then 
the engagement shall continue as at first the sums 
herein, after expenses for Julius Benedict and Giovanni 
Belletti, to remain unaltered except for advancement. 

5th. And the said John Hall Wilton, agent for the 
said Phineas T. Barnum, at the request of the said 

13* 



278 THE JENNY LIND ENTEBPRISE. 

Jenny Lind, agrees to pay to Julius Benedict, of Lon 
don, to accompany the said Jenny Lind as musical di 
rector, pianist, and superintendent of the musical depart 
ment, also to assist the said Jenny Lind in one hundred 
and fifty concerts or oratorios, to be given in the United 
States of North America and Havana, the sum of five 
thousand pounds (5,000) sterling, to be satisfactorily 
secured to him with Messrs. Baring Brothers, of Lon 
don, previous to his departure from Europe ; and the 
said John Hall Wilton agrees further, for the said Phin- 
eas T. Barnum, to pay all his travelling expenses from 
Europe, together with his hotel .and travelling expenses 
during the time occupied in giving the aforesaid one 
hundred and fifty concerts or oratorios he, the said 
Julius Benedict, to superintend the organization of ora 
torios, if required. 

6th. And the said John Hall Wilton, at the request, 
selection, and for the aid of the said Jenny Lind, agrees 
to pay to Giovanni Belletti, baritone vocalist, to accom 
pany the said Jenny Lind during her tour and in one 
hundred and fifty concerts or oratorios in the United 
States of North America and Havana, and in conjunc 
tion with the aforesaid Julius Benedict, the sum of two 
thousand five hundred pounds (2,500) sterling, to be 
satisfactorily secured to him previous to his departure 
from Europe, in addition to all his hotel and travelling 
expenses. 

7th. And it is further agreed that the said Jenny 
Lind shall be at full liberty to sing at any time she may 
think fit for charitable institutions or purposes indepen 
dent of the engagement with the said Phineas T. 
Barnum, she, the said Jenny Lind, consulting with the 
said Phineas T. Barnum with a view to mutually agree- 



THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 279 

ing as to the time and its propriety, it being understood 
that in no case shall the first or second concert in any 
city selected for the tour be for such purpose, or where- 
ever it shall appear against the interests of the said 
Phineas T. Barnum. 

8th. It is further agreed that should the said Jenny 
Lind by any act of God be incapacitated to fulfil the 
entire engagement before mentioned, that an equal pro 
portion of the terms agreed upon shall be given to the 
said Jenny Lind, Julius Benedict, and Giovanni Belletti, 
for services rendered to that time. 

9th. It is further agreed and understood, that the said 
Phineas T. Barnum shall pay every expense appertaining 
to the concerts or oratorios before mentioned, excepting 
those for charitable purposes, and that all accounts shall 
be settled and rendered by all parties weekly. 

10th. And the said Jenny Lind further agrees that 
she will not engage to sing for any other person during 
the progress of this said engagement with the said 
Phineas T. Barnum, of New York, for one hundred and 
fifty concerts or oratorios, excepting for charitable 
purposes as before mentioned ; and all travelling to be 
first and best class. 

In witness hereof to the within written memorandum 
of agreement we set hereunto our hand and seal. 

[L. S.] JOHN HALL WILTON, Agent for PHINEAS T, 

BARNUM, of New York, U. S. 
[L. S.] JENNY LIND. 

[L. S.] JULIUS BENEDICT. 
[L. S.] GIOVANNI BELLETTI. 

In the presence of C. ACHILLING, Consul of His 
Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway- 



280 THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 

Extract from a Letter addressed to John Hall Wilton by 
PHINEAS T. BARNUM, and referred to in paragraph No. 

4 of the annexed agreement 
Lies oil* 10 aJao ioJni pilj janu^fj iuo<]q-fi iij .-: 

NEW YORK, November 6, 1849. 
MR. J. HALL WILTON : 

SIR : In reply to your proposal to attempt a nego 
tiation with Mile. Jenny Lind to visit the United States 
professionally, I propose to enter into an arrangement 
with her to the following effect: I will engage to pay 
all her expenses from Europe, provide for and pay for 
one principal tenor and one pianist, their salaries 
not exceeding together one hundred and fifty dollars 
per night ; to support for her a carriage, two servants, 
and a friend to accompany her and superintend her 
finances. I will furthermore pay all and every expense 
appertaining to her appearance before the public, and 
give her half of the gross receipts arising from 
concerts or operas. I will engage to travel with her 
personally and attend to the arrangements, provided she 
will undertake to give not less than eighty nor more 
than one hundred and fifty concerts, or nights perform 
ances. 

PHINEAS T. BARNUM. 

I certify the above to be a true extract from the letter. 

J H. WILTON. 

I was at my Museum in Philadelphia when Wilton 
arrived in New York, February 19, 1850. He imme 
diately telegraphed to me, in the cipher we had agreed 
upon, that he had signed an engagement with Jenny 
Lind, by which she was to commence her concerts in 
America in the following September. I was somewhat 

/liV/ lOirl UfTfi f t f )*) // I to "JIH/i Hlj VJS^M 



THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 281 

startled by this sudden announcement ; and feeling that 
the time to elapse before her arrival was so long that it 
would be policy to keep the engagement private for a 
faw months, I immediately telegraphed him not to men 
tion it to any person, and that I would meet him the 
next day in New York. 

When we reflect how thoroughly Jenny Lind, her 
musical poweis, her character, and wonderful successes, 
were subsequently known by all classes in this country 
as well as throughout the civilized world, it is difficult 
to realize that, at the time this engagement was made, 
she was comparatively unknown on this side the water. 
We can hardly credit the fact, that millions of persons 
in America had never heard of her, that other millions 
had merely read her name, but had no distinct idea of 
who or what she was. Only a small portion of the 
public were really aware of her great musical triumphs 
in the Old World, and this portion was confined almost 
entirely to musical people, travellers who had visited 
the Old World, and the conductors of the press. 

The next morning I started for New York. On arriv 
ing at Princeton we met the New York cars, and purchas 
ing the morning papers, I was surprised to find in them 
a full account of my engagement with Jenny Lind. 
However, this premature announcement could not be 
recalled, and I put the best face on the matter. Anxious 
to learn how this communication would strike the pub 
lic mind, I informed the conductor, whom I well knew, 
that I had made an engagement with Jenny Lind, and 
that she would surely visit this country in the following 
August. 

" Jenny Lind ! Is she a dancer ? " asked the con 
ductor. 



282 THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 

I informed him who and what she was, but his ques 
tion had chilled me as if his words were ice. Really, 
thought I, if this is all that a man in the capacity of a 
railroad conductor between Philadelphia and New York 
knows of the greatest songstress in the world, I am not 
sure that six months will be too long a time for me to 
occupy in enlightening the public in regard to her 
merits. 

I had an interview with Wilton, and learned from 
him that, in accordance with the agreement, it would be 
requisite for me to place the entire amount stipulated, 
$187,500, in the hands of the London bankers. I at 
once resolved to ratify the agreement, and immediately 
sent the necessary documents to Miss Lind and Messrs. 
Benedict and Belletti. 

I then began to prepare the public mind, through the 
newspapers, for the reception of the great songstress. 
How effectually this was done, is still within the remem 
brance of the American public. As a sample of the 
manner in which I accomplished my purpose, I present 
the following extract from my first letter, which ap 
peared in the New York papers of February 22, 1850 : 

" Perhaps I may not make any money by this enter 
prise ; but I assure you that if I knew I should not 
make a farthing profit, I would ratify the engage 
ment, so anxious am I that the United States should 
be visited by a lady whose vocal powers have never 
been approached by any other human being, and 
whose character is charity, simplicity, and goodness 
personified. 

" Miss Lind has great anxiety to visit America. She 
speaks of this country and its institutions in the highest 
terms of praise. In her engagement with me (which 



THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 283 

includes Havana), she expressly reserves the right to 
give charitable concerts whenever she thinks proper. 

" Since her debut in England, she has given to the 
poor from her own private purse more than the whole 
amount which I have engaged to pay her, and the pro 
ceeds of concerts for charitable purposes in Great Brit 
ain, where she has sung gratuitously, have realized more 
than ten times that amount." 

The people soon began to talk about Jenny Lind, and 
I was particularly anxious to obtain a good portrait 
of her. Fortunately, a fine opportunity occurred. One 
day, while I was sitting in the office of the Museum, 
a foreigner approached me with a small package under 
his arm. He informed me in broken English that 
he was a Swede, and said he was an artist, who had 
just arrived from Stockholm, where Jenny Lind had 
kindly given him a number of sittings, and he now 
had with him the portrait of her which he had painted 
upon copper. He unwrapped the package, and 
showed me a beautiful picture of the Swedish Night 
ingale, inclosed in an elegant gilt frame, about fourteen 
by twenty inches. It was just the thing I wanted ; 
the price was fifty dollars, and I purchased it at once. 
Upon showing it to an artist friend the same day, he 
quietly assured me that it was a cheap lithograph 
pasted on a tin back, neatly varnished, and made to 
appear like a fine oil painting. The intrinsic value 
of the picture did not exceed thirty-seven and one 
half cents ! 

After getting together all my available funds for the 
purpose of transmitting them to London in the shape 
of United States bonds, I found a considerable sum still 
lacking to make up the amount. I had some second 



284 THE JENNY LIND ENTERPRISE. 

mortgages which were perfectly good, but I could not 
negotiate them in Wall Street. Nothing would answer 
there short of first mortgages on New York or Brook 
lyn city property. 

I went to the president of the bank where I had 
done all my business for eight years. I offered him, as 
security for a loan, my second mortgages, and as an 
additional inducement, I proposed to make over to him 
my contract with Jenny Lind, with a written guaranty 
that he should appoint a receiver, who, at my expense, 
should take charge of all the receipts over and above 
three thousand dollars per night, and appropriate them 
towards the payment of my loan. He laughed in my 
face, and said : " Mr. Barnum, it is generally believed in 
Wall Street, that your engagement with Jenny Lind 
will ruin you. I do not think you will ever receive 
so much as three thousand dollars at a single concert." 
I was indignant at his want of appreciation, and 
answered him that I would not at that moment take 
$150,000 for my contract; nor would I. I found, 
upon further inquiry, that it was useless in Wall Street 
to offer the "Nightingale " in exchange for Goldfinches. 
I finally was introduced to Mr. John L. Aspinwall, of 
the firm of Messrs. Howland & Aspinwall, and he gave 
me a letter of credit from his firm on Baring Brothers, 
for a large sum on collateral securities, which a spirit 
of genuine respect for my enterprise induced him to 
accept. 

After disposing of several pieces of property for 
cash, I footed up the various amounts, and still discov 
ered myself five thousand dollars short. I felt that 
it was indeed " the last feather that breaks the camel s 
back." Happening casually to state my desperate case 



THE JENNY L1ND ENTERPRISE. 

to the Rev. Abel C. Thomas, of Philadelphia, for many 
years a friend of mine, he promptly placed the requisite 
amount at my disposal. I gladly accepted his proffered 
friendship, and felt that he had removed a mountain- 
weight from my shoulders. 



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CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 

FINAL CONCERTS IN LIVERPOOL DEPARTURE FOR AMERICA ARRIVAL OF* 
STATEN ISLAND MY FIRST INTERVIEW WITH JENNY LIND THE TREMEN 
DOUS THRONG AT THE WHARF TRIUMPHAL ARCHES "WELCOME TO AMER 
ICA" EXCITEMENT IN THE CITY SERENADE AT THE IRVING HOUSE THE 
PRIZE ODE BAYARD TAYLOR THE PRIZEMAN " BARNUM S PARNASSUS "- 
"BARNUMOPSIS" FIRST CONCERT IN CASTLE GARDEN A NEW AGREEMENT 
RECEPTION OF JENNY LIND UNBOUNDED ENTHUSIASM BARNUM CALLED 
OUT JULIUS BENEDICT THE SUCCESS OF THE ENTERPRISE ESTABLISHED 
TWO GRAND CHARITY CONCERTS IN NEW YORK DATE OF THE FIRST REGULAR 

CONCERT. 

AFTER the engagement with Miss Lind was consum 
mated, she declined several liberal offers to sing in 
London, but, at my solicitation, gave two concerts in 
Liverpool, on the eve of her departure for America. 
My object in making this request was, to add the eclat 
of that side to the excitement on this side of the Atlan 
tic, which was already nearly up to fever heat. 

The first of the two Liverpool concerts was given the 
night previous to the departure of the Saturday steamer 
for America. My agent had procured the services of a 
musical critic from London, who finished his account of 
this concert at half past one o clock the following morn 
ing, and at two o clock my agent was overseeing its 
insertion in a Liverpool morning paper, numbers of 
which he forwarded to me by the steamer of the same 
day. The republication of the criticism in the Ameri 
can papers, including an account of the enthusiasm 
which attended and followed this concert, her trans- 
Atlantic, had the desired effect. 



THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 287 

On Wednesday morning, August 21, 1850, Jenny 
Lind and Messrs. Benedict and Belletti, set sail from 
Liverpool in the steamship Atlantic, in which I had 
long before engaged the necessary accommodations, and 
on board of which I had shipped a piano for their use. 
They were accompanied by my agent, Mr. Wilton, and 
also by Miss Ahmansen and Mr. Max Hjortzberg, cous 
ins of Miss Lind, the latter being her Secretary ; also by 
her two servants, and the valet of Messrs. Benedict and 
Belletti. 

It was expected that the steamer would arrive on 
Sunday, September 1, but, determined to meet the song 
stress on her arrival whenever it might be, I went to 
Staten Island on Saturday, and slept at the hospitable 
residence of my friend, Dr. A. Sidney Doane, who was 
at that time the Health Officer of the Port of New York. 
A few minutes before twelve o clock, on Sunday morn 
ing, the Atlantic hove in sight, and immediately after 
wards, through the kindness of my friend Doane, I was 
on board the ship, and had taken Jenny Lind by the 
hand. 

After a few moments conversation, she asked me 
when and where I had heard her sing. 

" I never had the pleasure of seeing you before in my 
life," I replied. 

" How is it possible that you dared risk so much 
money on a person whom you never heard sing \ " she 
asked in surprise. 

" I risked it on your reputation, which in musical 
matters I would much rather trust than my own judg 
ment," I replied. 

I may as well state, that although I relied promi 
nently upon Jenny Lind s reputation as a great musical 



288 THE Nl&HTINGALE IN NEW YOEK. 

artiste, I also took largely into my estimate of liei 
success with all classes of the American public, her 
character for extraordinary benevolence and generosity. 
Without this peculiarity in her disposition, I never 
would have dared make the engagement which I did, 
as I felt sure that there were multitudes of individuals 
in America who would be prompted to attend her con 
certs by this feeling alone. 

Thousands of persons covered the shipping and piers, 
and other thousands had congregated on the wharf at 
Canal Street, to see her. The wildest enthusiasm pre 
vailed as the steamer approached the dock. So great 
was the rush on a sloop near the steamer s berth, that 
one man, in his zeal to obtain a good view, accidentally 
tumbled overboard, amid the shouts of those neai 
him. Miss Lind witnessed this incident, and was much 
alarmed. He was, however, soon rescued, after taking to 
himself a cold duck instead of securing a view of the 
Nightingale. A bower of green trees, decorated with 
beautiful flags, was discovered on the wharf, together 
with two triumphal arches, on one of which was in 
scribed, " Welcome, Jenny Lind ! " The second was 
surmounted by the American eagle, and bore the inscrip 
tion, " Welcome to America ! " These decorations were 
not produced by magic, and I do not know that I can Tea- 
sonably find fault with those who suspected I had a hand 
in their erection. My private carriage was in waiting, and 
Jenny Lind was escorted to it by Captain West. The 
rest of the musical party entered the carriage, and 
mounting the box at the driver s side, I directed him to 
the Irving House. I took that seat as a legitimate 
advertisement, and my presence on the outside of the 
carriage aided those who filled the windows and side- 



THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 289 

walks along the whole route, in coming to the conclu 
sion that Jenny Lind had arrived. 

A reference to the journals of that day will show, that 
never before had there been such enthusiasm in the City 
of New York, or indeed in America. Within ten min 
utes after our arrival at the Irving House, not less than 
twenty thousand persons had congregated around the 
entrance in Broadway, nor was the number diminished 
before nine o clock in the evening. At her request, I 
dined with her that afternoon, and when, according to 
European custom, she prepared to pledge me in a glass 
of wine, she was somewhat surprised at my saying, 
" Miss Lind, I do not think you can ask any other favor 
on earth which I would not gladly grant ; but I am a 
teetotaler, and must beg to be permitted to drink your 
health and happiness in a glass of cold water." 

At twelve o clock that night, she was serenaded by 
the New York Musical Fund Society, numbering, on 
that occasion, two hundred musicians. They were 
escorted to the Irving House by about three hundred 
firemen, in their red shirts, bearing torches. There was 
a far greater throng in the streets than there was even 
during the day. The calls for Jenny Lind were so 
vehement that I led her through a window to the 
balcony. The loud cheers from the crowds lasteS for 
several minutes, before the serenade was permitted to 
proceed again. 

I have given the merest sketch of but a portion of the 
incidents of Jenny Lind s first day in America. For 
weeks afterwards the excitement was unabated. Her 
rooms were thronged by visitors, including the magnates 
of the land in both Church and State. The carnages 
of the wealthiest citizens could be seen in front of her 



290 THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YOEK. 

hotel at nearly all hours of the day, and it was with 
some difficulty that I prevented the " fashionables " from 
monopolizing her altogether, and thus, as I believed, 
sadly marring my interests by cutting her off from the 
warm sympathies she had awakened among the masses. 
Presents of all sorts were showered upon her. Milli 
ners, mantua-makers, and shopkeepers vied with each 
other in calling her attention to their wares, of which 
they sent her many valuable specimens, delighted if, in 
return, they could receive her autograph acknowledg 
ment. Songs, quadrilles and polkas Were dedicated to 
her, and poets sung in her praise. We had Jenny Lind 
gloves, Jenny Lind bonnets, Jenny Lind riding hats, 
Jenny Lind shawls, mantillas, robes, chairs, sofas, pi 
anos in fact, every thing was Jenny Lind. Her 
movements were constantly watched, and the moment 
her carriage appeared at the door, it was surrounded by 
multitudes, eager to catch a glimpse of the Swedish 
Nightingale. 

In looking over my " scrap-books " of extracts from 
the New York papers of that day, in which all accessi 
ble details concerning her were duly chronicled, it seems 
almost incredible that such a degree of enthusiasm 
should have existed. An abstract of the "sayings and 
doings " in regard to the Jenny Lind mania for the first 
ten days after her arrival, appeared in the London Times 
of Sept. 23, 1850, and although it was an ironical " show 
ing up " of the American enthusiasm, filling several col 
umns, it was nevertheless a faithful condensation of facts 
which at this late day seem even to myself more like a 
dream than reality. 

Before her arrival I had offered $200 for a prize ode, 
jr rooting to America," to be sung by Jenny Lind at 



THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 291 

her first concert. Several hundred " poems" were sent 
in from all parts of the United States and the Canadas. 
The duties of the Prize Committee, in reading these 
effusions and making choice of the one most worthy the 
prize, were truly arduous, The " offerings," with per 
haps a dozen exceptions, were the merest doggerel trash. 
The prize was awarded to Bayard Taylor for the follow 
ing ode : 

GREETING TO AMERICA. 

WORDS BY BAYARD TAYLOK MUSIC BY JULIUS BENEDICT. 

I GREET with a full heart the Laud of the West, 

Whose Banner of Stars o er a world is unrolled ; 
Whose empire o ershadows Atlantic s wide breast, 

And opens to sunset its gateway of gold ! 
The land of the mountain, the land of the lake, 

And rivers that roll in magnificent tide 
Where the souls of the mighty from slumber awake, 

And hallow the soil for whose freedom they died! 

Thou Cradle of Empire ! though wide be the foam 

That severs the land of my fathers and thee, 
I hear, from thy bosom, the welcome of home, 

For Song has a home in the hearts of the Free ! 
And long as thy waters shall gleam in the sun, 

And long as thy heroes remember their scars, 
Be the hands of thy children united as one, 

And Peace shed her light on thy Banner of Stars! 

This award, although it gave general satisfaction, yet 
was met with disfavor by several disappointed poets, 
who, notwithstanding the decision of the committee, 
persisted in believing and declaring their own produc 
tions to be the best. This state of feeling was doubt 
less, in part, the cause which led to the publication, 
about this time, of a witty pamphlet entitled " Bar- 
num s Parnassus ; being Confidential Disclosures of the 
Prize Committee on the Jenny Lind song." 

It gave some capital hits in which the committee, the 
enthusiastic public, the Nightingale, and myself, wexe 

H 



292 THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 

roundly ridiculed. The following is a fair specimen 
from the work in question : 

BARNUMOPSIS. 

A RECITATIVE. 

WHEN to the common rest that crowns his days, 

Dusty and worn the tired pedestrian goes, 
What light is that whose wide o erlooking blaze 

A sudden glory on his pathway throws? 

Tis not the setting sun, whose drooping lid 

Closed on the weary world at half-past six; 
Tis not the rising moon, whose rays are hid 

Behind the city s sombre piles of bricks. 

It is the Drummond Light, that from the top 
Of Barnum s massive pile, sky-mingling there, 

Darts its quick gleam o er every shadowed shop, 
And gilds Broadway with unaccustomed glare. 

There o er the sordid gloom, whose deep ning tracks 

Furrow the city s brow, the front of ages, 
Thy loftier light descends on cabs and hacks, 

And on two dozen different lines of stages ! 

O twilight Sun, with thy far darting ray, 

Thou art a type of him whose tireless hands 
Hung thee on high to guide the stranger s way, 

Where, in its pride, his vast Museum stands. 

Him, who in search of wonders new and strange, 
Grasps the wide skirts of Nature s mystic robe 

Explores the circles of eternal change, 
And the dark chambers of the central globe. 

He, from the reedy shores of fabled Nile, 
Has brought, thick- ribbed and ancient as old iron, 

That venerable beast the crocodile, 
And many a skin of many a famous lion. 

GO lose thyself in those continuous halls, 
Where strays the fond papa with son and daughter 

And all that charms or startles or appals, 
Thou shalt behold, and for a single quarter ! 

Far from the Barcan deserts now withdrawn, 

There huge constrictors coil their scaly backs; 
There, cased in glass, malignant and unshorn, 

Old murderers glare in sullennoss and wax. 



THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 293 

There many a varied form the sight beguiles, 
In rusty broadcloth decked and shocking hat, 

And there the unwieldy Lambert sits and smiles, 
In the majestic plenitude of fat. 

Or for thy gayer hours, the orang-outang 
Or ape salutes thee with his strange grimace, 

And in their shapes, stuffed as on earth they sprang, 
Thine individual being thou canst trace ! 

And joys the youth in life s green spring, who goes 
With the sweet babe and the gray-headed nurse, 

To see those Cosmoramic orbs disclose 
The varied beauties of the universe. 

And last, not least, the marvellous Ethiope, 

Changing his skin by preternatural skill, 
Whom every setting sun s diurnal slope 

Leaves whiter than the last, and whitening still. 

All that of monstrous, scaly, strange and queer, 
Has come from out the womb of earliest time, 

Thou hast, O Barnum, in thy keeping here, 
Nor is this all for triumphs more sublime 

Await thee yet! I, Jenny Lind, who reigned 
Sublimely throned, the imperial queen of song, 

Wooed by thy golden harmonies, have deigned 
Captive to join the heterogeneous throng. 

Sustained by an unfaltering trust in coin, 
Dealt from thy hand, O thou illustrious man, 

Gladly I heard the summons come to join 
Myself the innumerable caravan. 

Besides the foregoing, this pamphlet contained eleven 
poems, most of which abounded in wit. I have room 
for but a single stanza. The poet speaks of the vari 
ous curiosities in the Museum, and representing me as 
still searching for further novelties, makes me address 
the Swedish Nightingale as follows : 

"So Jenny, come along! you re just the card for me, 
And quit these kings and queens, for the country of the free ; 
They 11 welcome you with speeches, and serenades, and rockets, 
And you will touch their hearts, and I will tap their pockets; 
And if between us botfi the public isn t skinned, 
Why, my name isn t Barnum, nor your name Jenny Liud!" 



294 THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YOKK. 

Various extracts from this brochure were copied in 
the papers daily, and my agents scattered the work as 
widely as possible, thus efficiently aiding and advertis 
ing my enterprise and serving to keep up the public 
excitement. 

Among the many complimentary poems sent in, was 
the following, by Mrs. L. H. SIGOURNEY, which that 
distinguished writer enclosed in a letter to me, with the 
request that I should hand it to Miss Lind : 

THE SWEDISH SONGSTEESS AND HER CHAEITIE8. 

BY MRS. t. H. SIGOURNEY. 

BLEST must their vocation be 
Who, with tones of melody, 
Charm the discord and the strife 
And the railroad rush of life, 
And with Orphean magic move 
Souls inert to life and love. 
But there s one who doth inherit 
Angel gift and angel spirit, 
Bidding tides of gladness flow 
Through the realms of want and woe; 
Mid lone age and misery s lot, 
Kindling pleasures long forgot, 
Seeking minds oppressed with night, 
And on darkness shedding light. 
She the seraph s speech doth know, 
She hath done their deeds below : 
So, when o er this misty strand 
She shall clasp tJ^eir waiting hand, 
They will fold her to their breast, 
More a sister than a guest. 

Jenny Lind s first concert was fixed to come off at 
Castle Garden, on Wednesday evening, September llth, 
and most of the tickets were sold at auction on the Sat 
urday and Monday previous to the concert. John N. 
Genin, the hatter, laid the foundation of his fortune by 
purchasing the first ticket at $225. It has been exten 
sively reported that Mr. Genin and I are brothers-in-law, 



THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 295 

but our only relations are those of business and friend 
ship. The proprietors of the Garden saw fit to make 
the usual charge of one shilling to all persons who 
entered the premises, yet three thousand people were 
present at the auction. One thousand tickets were sold 
on the first day for an aggregate sum of $10,141. 

On the Tuesday after her arrival I informed Miss Lind 
that I wished to make a slight alteration in our agree 
ment. " What is it I " she asked in surprise. 

" I am convinced," I replied, " that our enterprise 
will be much more successful than either of us antici 
pated. I wish, therefore, to stipulate that you shall 
receive not only $1,000 for each concert, besides all the 
expenses, as heretofore agreed on, but after taking 
$5,500 per night for expenses and my services, the 
balance shall be equally divided between us." 

Jenny looked at me with astonishment. She could 
not comprehend my proposition. After I had repeated 
it, and she fully understood its import, she cordially 
grasped me by the hand, and exclaimed, " Mr, Barnum, 
you are a gentleman of honor : you are generous ; it is 
just as Mr. Bates told me ; I will sing for you as long as 
you please; I will sing for you in America in Europe 
anywhere ! " 

Upon drawing the new contract which was to include 
this entirely voluntary and liberal advance on my part, 
beyond the terms of the original agreement, Miss Lind s 
lawyer, Mr. John Jay, who was present solely to put in 
writing the new arrangement between Miss Lind and 
myself, insisted upon intruding the suggestion that she 
should have the right to terminate the engagement at 
the end of the sixtieth concert, if she should choose to 
do so. This proposition was so persistently aiid annoy- 



296 THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 

ingly pressed that Miss Lind was finally induced to 
entertain it, at the same time offering, if she did so, to 
refund to me all moneys paid her up to that time, 
excepting the $1,000 per concert according to the origi 
nal agreement. This was agreed to, and it was also 
arranged that she might terminate the engagement at 
the one-hundredth concert, if she desired, upon paying 
me $25,000 for the loss of the additional fifty nights. 

After this new arrangement was completed, I said: 
" Now, Miss Lind, as you are directly interested, you 
must have an agent to assist in taking and counting the 
tickets"; to which she replied, " Oh, no! Mr. Barnum ; 
I have every confidence in you and I must decline to act 
upon your suggestion " ; but I continued : 

" 1 never allow myself, if it can be avoided, when I 
have associates in the same interests, to be placed in a 
position where I must assume the sole responsibility. 
I never even permitted an actor to take a benefit at my 
Museum, unless he placed a ticket-taker of his own at 
the door." 

Thus urged, Miss Lind engaged Mr. Seton to act as 
her ticket-taker, and after we had satisfactorily arranged 
the matter, Jay, knowing the whole aifair, had the impu 
dence to come to me with a package of blank printed 
affidavits, which he demanded that I should fill out, from 
day to day, with the receipts of each concert, and swear 
to their correctness before a magistrate ! 

I told him that I would see him on the subject at 
Miss Lind s hotel that afternoon, and going there a few 
moments before the appointed hour, I narrated the cir 
cumstances to Mr. Benedict and showed him an affidavit 
which I had made that morning to the effect that I 
would never directly or indirectly take any advantage 



THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 297 

whatever of Miss Lind. This I had made oath to, for 
I thought if there was any swearing of that kind to be 
done I would do it " in a lump " rather than in detail. 
Mr. Benedict was very much opposed to it, and arriving 
during the interview, Jay was made to see the matter in 
such a light that he was thoroughly ashamed of his 
proposition, and, requesting that the affair might not be 
mentioned to Miss Lind, he begged me to destroy the 
affidavit. I heard no more about swearing to our 
receipts. 

On Tuesday, September 10th, I informed Miss Lind 
that, judging by present appearances, her portion of the 
proceeds of the first concert would amount to $10,000. 
She immediately resolved to devote every dollar of it to 
charity ; and, sending for Mayor Woodhull, she acted 
under his and my advice in selecting the various institu 
tions among which she wished the amount to be 
distributed. 

My arrangements of the concert room were very 
complete. The great parterre and gallery of Castle 
Garden were divided by imaginary lines into four com 
partments, each of which was designated by a lamp of 
a different color. The tickets were printed in colors 
correspondiog with the location which the holders were 
to occupy, and one hundred ushers, with rosettes and 
bearing wands tipped with ribbons of the several hues, 
enabled every individual to find his or her seat without 
the slightest difficulty. Every seat was of course num 
bered in color to correspond with the check, which each 
person retained after giving up an entrance ticket at the 
door. Thus, tickets, checks, lamps, rosettes, wands, and 
even the seat numbers were all in the appropriate colors 
to designate the different departments. These arrange- 



298 THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YOUR. 

ments were duly advertised, and every particular was 
also printed upon each ticket. In order to prevent 
confusion, the doors were opened at five o clock, while 
the concert did not commence until eight. The conse 
quence was, that although about five thousand persons 
were present at the first concert, their entrance was 
marked with as much order and quiet as was ever 
witnessed in the assembling of a congregation at church. 
These precautions were observed at all the concerts 
given throughout the country under my administration, 
and the good order which always prevailed was the 
subject of numberless encomiums from the public and 
the press. 

The reception of Jenny Lind on her first appearance, 
in point of enthusiasm, was probably never before 
equalled in the world. As Mr. Benedict led her 
towards the foot-lights, the entire audience rose to their 
feet and welcomed her with three cheers, accompanied 
by the waving of thousands of hats and handkerchiefs. 
This was by far the largest audience to which Jenny 
Lind had ever sung. She was evidently much agitated, 
but the orchestra commenced, and before she had sung 
a dozen notes of " Casta Diva," she began to recover 
her self-possession, and long before the scena was 
concluded, she was as calm as if she was in her own 
drawing-room. Towards the last portion of the cavatina, 
the audience were so completely carried away by their 
feelings, that the remainder of the air was drowned in 
a perfect tempest of acclamation. Enthusiasm had been 
wrought to its highest pitch, but the musical powers of 
Jenny Lind exceeded all the brilliant anticipations 
which had been formed, and her triumph was complete. 
At the conclusion of the concert Jenny Lind was loudly 



THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 299 

called for, and was obliged to appear three times before 
the audience could be satisfied. They then called 
vociferously for " Barnum," and I reluctantly responded 
to their demand. 

On this first night, Mr. Julius Benedict firmly estab 
lished with the American people his European reputa 
tion, as a most accomplished conductor and musical 
composer ; while Signor Belletti inspired an admiration 
which grew warmer and deeper in the minds of the 
American people, to the end of his career in this 
country. 

It would seem as if the Jenny Lind mania had 
reached its culminating point before she appeared, and 
I confess that I feared the anticipations of the public 
were too high to be realized, and hence that there 
would be a reaction after the first concert ; but I was 
happily disappointed. The transcendent musical genius 
of the Swedish Nightingale was superior to all that 
fancy could paint, and the furor did not attain its high 
est point until she had been heard. The people were 
in ecstasies ; the powers of editorial acumen, types and 
ink, were inadequate to sound her praises. The Rubicon 
was passed. The successful issue of the Jenny Lind 
enterprise was established. I think there were a hun 
dred men in New York, the day after her first concert, 
who would have willingly paid me $200,000 for my 
contract. I received repeated offers for an eighth, a 
tenth, or a sixteenth, equivalent to that price. But 
mine had been the risk, and I was determined mine 
should be the triumph. So elated was I with my suc 
cess, in spite of all obstacles and false prophets, that I 
do not think half a million of dollars would have tempted 
me to relinquish the enterprise. 
14* 



800 THE NIGHTINGALE IN NEW YORK. 

Upon settling the receipts of the first concert, they 
were found to be somewhat less than I anticipated. 
The sums bid at the auction sales, together with the 
tickets purchased at private sale, amounted to more 
than $20,000. It proved, however, that several of the 
tickets bid off at from $12 to $25 each, were not called 
for. In some instances, probably the zeal of the bidders 
cooled down when they came out from the scene of ex 
citement, and once more breathed the fresh sea-breeze 
which came sweeping up from " the Narrows," while 
perhaps, in other instances, bids were made by parties 
who never intended to take the tickets. I can only say, 
once for all, that I was never privy to a false bid, and 
was so particular upon that point, that I would not per 
mit one of my employees to bid on, or purchase a ticket 
at auction, though requested to do so for especial 
friends. 

The amount of money received for tickets to the first 
concert was $17,864.05. As this made Miss Lind s 
portion too small to realize the $10,000 which had been 
announced as devoted to charity, I proposed to divide 
equally with her the proceeds of the first two concerts, 
and not count them at all in our regular engagement. 
Accordingly, the second concert was given September 
13th, and the receipts, amounting to $14,203.03, were, 
like those of the first concert, equally divided. Our 
third concert, but which, as between ourselves, we 
called the " first regular concert," was given Tuesday 
September 17, 1850. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

HEAD-WORK AND HAND-WORK MANAGING PUBLIC OPINION CREATING A 
FUROR THE NEW YORK HERALD JENNY LIND S EVIL AD VISERS JOHN 
JAY MISS LIND S CHARITIES A POOR GIRL IN BOSTON THE NIGHTINGALE 
AT IRANISTAN RUMOR OF HER MARRIAGE TO P. T. BARNUM THE STORY 
BASED ON OUR "ENGAGEMENT" WHAT IRANISTAN DID FOR ME AVOIDING 
CROWDS IN PHILADELPHIA AND BALTIMORE A SUBSTITUTE FOR MISS 

LIND OUR ORCHESTRA PRESIDENT FILLMORE, CLAY, FOOTE, BENTON, 
SCOTT, CASS, AND WEBSTER VISIT TO MT. VERNON CHRISTMAS PRESENTS 
NEW YEAR S EVE WE GO TO HAVANA PLAYING BALL FREDERIKA BRE- 
HER A HAPPY MONTH IN CUBA. 

No ONE can imagine the amount of head-work and 
hand-work which I performed during the first four 
weeks after Jenny Lind s arrival. Anticipating much 
of this, I had spent some time in August at the White 
Mountains to recruit my energies. Of course I had 
not been idle during the summer. I had put innumer 
able means and appliances into operation for the fur 
therance of my object, and little did the public see of 
the hand that indirectly pulled at their heart-strings, 
preparatory to a relaxation of their purse-strings ; and 
these means and appliances were continued and 
enlarged throughout the whole of that triumphal 
musical campaign. 

The first great assembly at Castle Garden was not 
gathered by Jenny Lind s musical genius and powers 
alone. She was effectually introduced to the public 
before they had seen or heard her. She appeared 
in the presence of a jury already excited to enthusiasm 



302 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

in her behalf. She more than met their expectations, 
and all the means I had adopted to prepare the way 
were thus abundantly justified. 

As a manager, I worked by setting others to work. 
Biographies of the Swedish Nightingale were largely 
circulated ; " Foreign Correspondence " glorified her 
talents and triumphs by narratives of her benevolence ; 
and " printer s ink " was invoked in every possible 
form, to put and keep Jenny Lind before the people. 
I am happy to say that the press generally echoed 
the voice of her praise from first to last. 1 could fill 
many volumes with printed extracts which are nearly 
all of a similar tenor to the following unbought, 
unsolicited editorial article, which appeared in the 
New York Herald of Sept. 10, 1850 (the day 
before the first concert given by Miss Lind in the 
United States) : 

"JENNY LIND AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. What ancient monarch was 
he, either in history or in fable, who offered half his kingdom (the price of box tick 
ets and choice seats in those days) for the invention of an original sensation, or 
the discovery of a fresh pleasure? That sensation that pleasure which royal 
power in the old world failed to discover has been called into existence at a less 
price, by Mr. Barnum, a plain republican, and is now about to be enjoyed by the 
sovereigns of the new world. 

" Jenny Lind, the most remarkable phenomenon in musical art which has for 
the last century flashed across the horizon of the old world, is now among us, and 
will make her debut to-morrow night to a house of nearly ten thousand listeners, 
yielding in proceeds by auction, a sum of forty or fifty thousand dollars. For 
the last ten days our musical reporters have furnished our readers with every 
matter connected with her arrival in this metropolis, and the steps adopted by Mr. 
Barnum in preparation for her first appearance. The proceedings of yesterday, 
consisting of the sale of the remainder of the tickets, and the astonishing, "the 
wonderful sensation produced at her first rehearsal on the few persons, critics in 
musical art, who were admitted on the occasion, will be found elsewhere in our 
columns. 

"We concur in everything that has been said by our musical reporter, describ 
ing her extraordinary genius her unrivalled combination of power and art. 
Nothing has been exaggerated, not an iota. Three years ago, more or less, we 
hoard Jenny Lind on many occasions when she made the first great sensation in 
Europe, by her debut at the London Opera House. Then she was great in power 
--in art in genius; now she is greater in all. We speak from experience and 



SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 303 

conviction. Then she astonished, and pleased, and fascinated the thousands of 
the British aristocracy; now she will fascinate, and please, and delight, and almost 
make mad with musical excitement, the millions of the American democracy. To 
morrow night, this new sensation this fresh movement this excitement excel 
ling all former excitements will be called into existence, when she pours out the 
notes of CastaDiva, and exhibits her astonishing powers her wonderful pecu 
liarities, that seem more of heaven than of earth more of a voice from eternity, 
than from the lips of a human being. 

We speak soberly seriously calmly. The public expectation has run very 
high for the last week higher than at any former period of our past musical 
annals. But high as it has risen, the reality the fact the concert the voice 
and power of Jenny Lind will far surpass all past expectation. Jenny Lind is a 
wonder, and a prodigy in song and no mistake." 

As usual, however, the Herald very soon " took it all 
back " and roundly abused Miss Lind and persistently 
attacked her manager. As usual, too, the public paid 
no attention to the Herald and doubled their patronage 
of the Jenny Lind concerts. 

After the first month the business became thoroughly 
systematized, and by the help of such agents as my 
faithful treasurer, L. C. Stewart, and the indefatigable 
Le Grand Smith, my personal labors were materially 
relieved; but from the first concert on the llth of Sep 
tember, 1850, until the ninety-third concert on the 9th 
of June, 1851, a space of nine months, I did not know 
a waking moment that was entirely free from anxiety. 

I could not hope to be exempted from trouble and 
perplexity in managing an enterprise which depended 
altogether on popular favor, and which involved great 
consequences to myself ; but I did not expect the 
numerous petty annoyances which beset me, especially 
in the early period of the concerts. Miss Lind did not 
dream, nor did any one else, of the unparalleled enthu 
siasm that would greet her ; and the first immense 
assembly at Castle Garden somewhat prepared her, I 
suspect, to listen to evil advisers. It would seem that 
the terms of our revised contract were sufficiently liberal 



304 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

to her and sufficiently hazardous to myself, to justify the 
expectation of perfectly honorable treatment ; but certain 
envious intermeddlers appeared to think differently. 
" Do you not see, Miss Lind, that Mr. Barnum is coining 
money out of your genius ? " said they ; of course she 
saw it, but the high-minded Swede despised and spurned 
the advisers who recommended her to repudiate her con 
tract with me at all hazards, and take the enterprise 
into her own hands possibly to put it into theirs. I, 
however, suffered much from the unreasonable interfer 
ence of her lawyer, Mr. John Jay. Benedict and Belletti 
behaved like men, and Jenny afterwards expressed to 
me her regret that she had for a moment listened to the 
vexatious exactions of her legal counsellor. 

To show the difficulties with which I had to contend 
thus early in my enterprise, I copy a letter which I 
wrote, a little more than one month after Miss Lind 
commenced her engagement with me, to my friend Mr 
Joshua Bates, of Messrs. Baring, Brothers & Co., 
London : 

NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 1850. 
JOSHUA BATES ESQ.: 

DEAR SIB, I take the liberty to write you a few lines, merely to say that we 
are getting along as well as could reasonably be expected. In this country you 
are aware that the rapid accumulation of wealth always creates much envy, and 
envy soon augments to malice. Such are the elements at work to a limited 
degree against myself, and although Miss Lind, Benedict and myself have never, 
as yet, had the slightest feelings between us, to my knowledge, except those of 
friendship, yet I cannot well see how this can long continue in face of the 
fact that, nearly every day, they allow persons (some moving in the first classes of 
society) to approach them, and spend hours in traducing me; even her attorney, 
Mr. John Jay, has been so blind to her interests, as to aid in poisoning her mind 
against me, by pouring into her ears the most silly twaddle, all of which amounts 
to nothing and less than nothing such as the regret that I was a showman, 
exhibitor of Tom Thumb, etc., etc. 

Without the elements which I possess for business, as well as my knowledge 
of human nature, acquired in catering for the public, the result of her concerts 
here would not have been pecuniarily one half as much as at present and such 
men as the Hon. Edward Everett, G. G. Howland, and others will tell you that 
there is no charlatanism or lack of dignity in my management of these concerts. 
I know as well as any person that the merits of Jenny Liud are the best capital 



SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 305 

to depend upon to secure public favor, and I have thus far acted on this knowl 
edge. Everything which money and attention can procure for their comfort, they 
have, and I am glad to know that they are satisfied on this score. All I fear is, 
that these continual backbitings, if listened to by her, will, by and by, produce a 
feeling of distrust or regret, which will lead to unpleasant results. 

The fact is, her mind ought to be as free as air, and she herself as free as a 
bird, and, being satisfied of my probity and ability, she should turn a deaf ear to 
all envious and malevolent attacks on me. I have hoped that by thus briefly 
stating to you the facts in the case, you might be induced for her interests as well 
as mine to drop a line of advice to Mi-. Benedict and another to Mr. Jay oil this 
subject. If I am asking or expecting too much, I pray you to not give it a 
thought, for I feel myself fully able to carry through my rights alone, although I 
should deplore nothing so much as to be obliged to do so in a feeling of unfriend 
liness. I have risked much money on the issue of this speculation it has 
proved successful. I am full of perplexity and anxiety, and labor continually for 
success, and I cannot allow ignorance or envy to rob me of the fruits of my 
enterprise. 

Sincerely and gratefully, yours, 

P. T. BAKNUM. 



It is not my purpose to enter into full details of all 
of the Lind concerts, though I have given elsewhere a 
transcript from the account books of my treasurer, pre 
senting a table of the place and exact receipts of each 
concert. This will gratify curiosity, and at the same 
time indicate our route of travel. Meanwhile, I devote 
a few pages to interesting incidents connected with Miss 
Lind s visit to America. 

Jenny Lind s character for benevolence became so 
generally known, that her door was beset by persons 
asking charity, and she was in the receipt, while in the 
principal cities, of numerous letters, all on the same 
subject. Her secretary examined and responded favor 
ably to some of them. He undertook at first to answer 
them all, but finally abandoned that course in despair. 
I knew of many instances in which she gave sums of 
money to applicants, varying in amount from $20, $50, 
$500, to $1,000, and in one instance she gave $5,000 to 
a Swedish friend. 

One night, while giving a concert in Boston, a girl 



306 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

approached the ticket-office, and laying down $3 for a 
ticket, remarked, " There goes half a month s earnings, 
but I am determined to hear Jenny Lind." Miss Lind s 
secretary heard the remark, and a few minutes after 
wards coming into her room, he laughingly related the 
circumstance. - " Would you know the girl agrun ? " 
asked Jenny, with an earnest look. Upon receiving an 
affirmative reply, she instantly placed a $20 gold-piece 
in his hand, and said, " Poor girl ! give her that with my 
best compliments." He at once found the girl, who 
cried with joy when she received the gold-piece, and 
heard the kind words with which the gift was accompa 
nied. 

The night after Jenny s arrival in Boston, a display 
of fireworks was given in her honor, in front of the 
Revere House, after which followed a beautiful torch 
light procession by the Germans of that city. 

On her return from Boston to New York, Jenny, her 
companion, and Messrs. Benedict and Belletti, stopped 
at Iranistan, my residence in Bridgeport, where they 
remained until the following day. The morning after 
her arrival, she took my arm and proposed a promenade 
through the grounds. She seemed much pleased, and 
said, " I am astonished that you should have left such a, 
beautiful place for the sake of travelling through the 
country with me." 

The same day she told me in a playful mood, that she 
had heard a most extraordinary report. " I have heard 
that you and I are about to be married," said she ; 
" now how could such an absurd report ever have origi 
nated ? " 

" Probably from the fact that we are ; engaged, " I 
replied. She enjoyed a joke, and laughed heartily. 



SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 307 

" Do you know, Mr. Barnum," said she, " that if you 
had not built Iranistan, I should never have come to 
America for you ? " 

I expressed my surprise, and asked her to explain. 

" I had received several applications to visit the 
United States," she continued, " but I did not much like 
the appearance of the applicants, nor did I relish the 
idea of crossing 3,000 miles of ocean ; so I declined 
them all. But the first letter which Mr. Wilton, your 
agent, addressed me, was written upon a sheet headed 
with a beautiful engraving of Iranistan. It attracted 
my attention. I said to myself, a gentleman who has 
been so successful in his business as to be able to 
build and reside in such a palace cannot be a mere 
adventurer/ So I wrote to your agent, and consented 
to an interview, which I should have declined, if I had 
not seen the picture of Iranistan ! " 

" That, then, fully pays me for building it," I replied ; 
"for I intend and expect to make more by this musical 
enterprise than Iranistan cost me." 

" I really hope so," she replied ; " but you must not 
be too sanguine, you know, man proposes but God dis 
poses. 

Jenny Lind always desired to reach a place in which 
she was to sing, without having the time of her arrival 
known, thus avoiding the excitement of promiscuous 
crowds. As a manager, however, I knew that the inter 
ests of the enterprise depended in a great degree upon 
these excitements. Although it frequently seemed 
inconceivable to her how so many thousands should 
have discovered her secret and consequently gathered 
together to receive her, I was not so much astonished, 
inasmuch as my agent always had early telegraphic 



308 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

intelligence of the time of her anticipated arrival, ana 
was not slow in communicating the information to the 
public. 

On reaching Philadelphia, a large concourse of per 
sons awaited the approach of the steamer which con 
veyed her. With difficulty we pressed through the 
crowd, and were followed by many thousands to Jones s 
Hotel. The street in front of the building was densely 
packed by the populace, and poor Jenny, who was suf 
fering from a severe headache, retired to her apartments. 
I tried to induce the crowd to disperse, but they declared 
they would not do so until Jenny Lind should appear 
on the balcony. I would not disturb her, and knowing 
that the tumult might prove an annoyance to her, I 
placed her bonnet arid shawl upon her companion, Miss 
Ahmansen, and led her out on the balcony. She bowed 
gracefully to the multitude, who gave her three hearty 
cheers and quietly dispersed. Miss Lind was so utterly 
averse to any thing like deception, that we never ven 
tured to tell her the part which her bonnet and shawl 
had played in the absence of their owner. 

Jenny was in the habit of attending church whenever 
she could do so without attracting notice. She always 
preserved her nationality, also, by inquiring out and 
attending Swedish churches wherever they could be 
found. She gave $1,000 to a Swedish church in Chi 
cago. 

While in Boston, a poor Swedish girl, a domestic in 
a family at Roxbury, called on Jenny. She detained 
her visitor several hours, talking about home, and other 
matters, and in the evening took her in her carriage to 
the concert, gave her a seat, and sent her back to Rox 
bury in a carriage, at the close of the performances. I 



SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 309 



have no doubt the poor girl carried with her substan 
tial evidences of her countrywoman s bounty. 

My eldest daughter, Caroline, and her friend, Mrs. 
Lyman, of Bridgeport, accompanied me on the tour 
from New York to Havana, and thence home, via New 
Orleans and the Mississippi. 

We were at Baltimore on the Sabbath, and my 
daughter, accompanying a friend, who resided in the 
city, to church, took a seat with her in the choir, and 
joined in the singing. A number of the congregation, 
who had seen Caroline with me the day previous, and 
supposed her to be Jenny Lind, were yet laboring under 
the same mistake, and it was soon whispered through 
the church that Jenny Lind was in the choir ! The 
excitement was worked to its highest pitch when my 
daughter rose as one of the musical group. Every ear 
was on the alert to catch the first notes of her voice, 
and when she sang, glances of satisfaction passed through 
the assembly. Caroline, quite unconscious of the atten 
tion she attracted, continued to sing to the end of the 
hymn. Not a note was lost upon the ears of the atten 
tive congregation. " What an exquisite singer ! " 
" Heavenly sounds!" " I never heard the like!" and 
similar expressions were whispered through the church. 

At the conclusion of the services, my daughter and 
her friend found the passage way to their carriage 
blocked by a crowd who were anxious to obtain a nearer 
view of the " Swedish Nightingale," and many persons 
that afternoon boasted, in good faith, that they had 
listened to the extraordinary singing of the great song 
stress. The pith of the joke is that we have never 
discovered that my daughter has any extraordinary 
claims as a vocalist. 



310 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

Our orchestra in New York consisted of sixty. When 
we started on our southern tour, we took with us per 
manently as the orchestra, twelve of the best musicians 
we could select, and in New Orleans augmented the 
force to sixteen. We increased the number to thirty- 
five, forty or fifty, as the case might be, by choice of 
musicians residing where the concerts were given. On 
our return to New York from Havana, we enlarged the 
orchestra to one hundred performers. 

The morning after our arrival in Washington, Presi 
dent Fillmore called, and left his card, Jenny being out. 
When she returned and found the token of his attention, 
she was in something of a fiurry. " Come," said she, 
" we must call on the President immediately." 

"Why so?" I inquired. 

" Because he has called on me, and of course that is 
equivalent to a command for me to go to his house." 

I assured her that she might make her mind at ease, for 
whatever might be the custom with crowned heads, our 
Presidents were not w r ont to " command " the movements 
of strangers, and that she would be quite in time if she 
returned his call the next day. She did so, and was 
charmed with the unaffected bearing of the President, 
and the warm kindnesses expressed by his amiable wife 
and daughter, and consented to spend the evening with 
them in conformity with their request. She was accom 
panied to the " White House " by Messrs Benedict, 
Belletti and myself, and several happy hours were 
spent in the private circle of the President s family. 

Mr. Benedict, who engaged in a long quiet conversa 
tion with Mr. Fillmore, was highly pleased with the 
interview. A foreigner, accustomed to court etiquette, 
is generally surprised at the simplicity which character- 



SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 311 

izes the Chief Magistrate of this Union. In 1852 I 
called on the President with my friend the late Mr. Bret- 
tell, of London, who resided in St. James Palace, and 
was quite a worshipper of the Queen, and an ardent 
admirer of all the dignities and ceremonies of royalty. 
He expected something of the kind in visiting the Pres 
ident of the United States, and was highly pleased with 
his disappointment. 

Both concerts in Washington were attended by the 
President and his family, and every member of the Cab 
inet. I noticed, also, among the audience, Henry Clay, 
Benton, Foote, Cass and General Scott, and nearly every 
member of Congress. On the following morning, Miss 
Lind was called upon by Mr. Webster, Mr. Clay, Gen 
eral Cass, and Colonel Benton, and all parties were evi 
dently gratified. I had introduced Mr. Webster to her 
in Boston. Upon hearing one of her wild mountain 
songs in New York, and also in Washington, Mr. Web 
ster signified his approval by rising, drawing himself 
up to his full height, and making a profound bow. 
Jenny was delighted by this expression of praise from 
the great statesman. When I first introduced Miss 
Lind to Mr. Webster, at the Revere House, in Boston, 
she was greatly impressed with his manners and conver 
sation, and after his departure, walked up and down the 
room in great excitement, exclaiming : " Ah ! Mr. Bar- 
num, that is a man ; I have never before seen such a 
man ! ?> 

We visited the Capitol while both Houses were in 
session. Miss Lind took the arm of Hon. C. F. Cleve 
land, representative from Connecticut, and was by him 
escorted into various parts of the Capitol and the 
grounds, with all of which she was much pleased. 



312 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

While I was in Washington an odd reminiscent 
of my old show-days in the South came back to me 
in a curious way. Some years before, in 1836, my 
travelling show company had stopped at a hotel in 
Jackson, Mississippi, and, as the house was crowded, 
soon after I went to bed five or six men came into 
the room with cards and a candle and asked permission, 
as there was no other place, to sit down and play 
a quiet game of " brag." I consented on condition 
that I might get up and participate, which was permit 
ted and in a very little while, as I knew nothing what 
ever of the game, I lost fifty dollars. Good " hands r 
and good fortune soon enabled me to win back my 
money, at which point one of the players who had 
been introduced to me as " Lawyer Foote " said : 

" Now the best thing you can do is to go back to 
bed ; you do n t know anything about the game, and 
these fellows do, and they ll skin you." 

I acted upon his advice. And now, years afterwards, 
when Senator Foote called upon Miss Lind the story 
came back to me, and while I was talking with him 
I remarked : 

" Fifteen years ago, when I was in the South, I became 
acquainted with a lawyer named Foote, at Jackson, 
Mississippi." 

" It must have been me," said the Senator, " I am the 
only lawyer Foote, of Jackson, Mississippi. 

" Oh ! no, it could not have been you," and I told 
him the story. 

" It was me," he whispered in my ear, and added, 
" I used to gamble like h 1 in those days." 

During the week I was invited with Miss Lind and 
her immediate friends, to visit Mount Vernon, with Col- 



SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 313 

onel Washington, the then proprietor, and Mr. Seaton, 
ex-Mayor of Washington, and Editor of the Intelligencer. 
Colonel Washington chartered a steamboat for the pur 
pose. We were landed a short distance from the tomb, 
which we first visited. Proceeding to the house, -w? 
were introduced to Mrs. Washington, and several other 
ladies. Much interest was manifested by Miss Lind in 
examining the mementoes of the great man whose home 
it had been. A beautiful collation was spread out and 
arranged in fine taste. Before leaving, Mrs. Washing 
ton presented Jenny with a book from the library, with 
the name of Washington written by his own hand. She 
was much overcome at receiving this present, called me 
aside, and expressed her desire to give something in 
return. "I have nothing with me," she said, " except 
ing this watch and chain, and I will give that if you 
think it will be acceptable." I knew the watch was 
very valuable, and told her that so costly a present 
would not be expected, nor would it be proper. " The 
expense is nothing, compared to the value of that book," 
she replied, with deep emotion ; " but as the watch was 
a present from a dear friend, perhaps I should not give 
it away." Jenny Lind, I am sure, never forgot the 
pleasurable emotions of that day. 

At Richmond, half an hour previous to her departure, 
hundreds of young ladies and gentlemen had crowded 
into the halls of the house to secure a glimpse of her at 
parting. I informed her that she would find difficulty 
in passing out. " How long is it before we must 
start I " she asked. " Half an hour," I replied. u Oh, 
I will clear the passages before that time," said she, with 
a smile ; whereupon she went into the upper hall, and 
informed the people that she wished to take the hands 



314 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

of every one of them, upon one condition, viz : they 
should pass by her in rotation, and as fast as they had 
shaken hands, proceed down stairs, and not block up the 
passages. They joyfully consented to the arrangement, 
and in fifteen minutes the course was clear. Poor Jenny 
had shaken hands with every person in the crowd, and I 
presume she had a feeling remembrance of the incident 
for an hour or two at least. She was waited on by 
many members of the Legislature while in Richmond, 
that body being in session while we were there. 

The voyage from Wilmington to Charleston was an 
exceedingly rough and perilous one. We were about 
thirty-six hours in making the passage, the usual time 
being seventeen. There was really great danger of our 
steamer being swamped, and we were all apprehensive 
that we should never reach the Port of Charleston 
alive. Some of the passengers were in great terror. 
Jenny Lind exhibited more calmness upon this occasion 
than any other person, the crew excepted. We arrived 
safely at last, and I was grieved to learn that for twelve 
hours the loss of the steamer had been considered cer 
tain, and had even been announced by telegraph in the 
Northern cities. 

We remained at Charleston about ten days, to take 
the steamer "Isabella" on her regular trip to Havana. 
Jenny had been through so much excitement at the 
North, that she determined to have quiet here, and 
therefore declined receiving any calls. This disap 
pointed many ladies and gentlemen. One young lady, 
the daughter of a wealthy planter near Augusta, was so 
determined upon seeing her in private, that she paid 
one of the servants to allow her to put on a cap and 
white apron, and carry in the tray for Jenny s tea. I 



SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 315 

j 

afterwards told Miss Lind of the joke, and suggested 
that after such an evidence of admiration, she should 
receive a call from the young lady. 

" It is not admiration it is only curiosity," replied 
Jenny, " and I will not encourage such folly." 

Christmas was at hand, and Jenny Lind determined to 
honor it in the way she had often done in Sweden. She 
had a beautiful Christmas tree privately prepared, and 
from its boughs depended a variety of presents for mem 
bers of the company. These gifts were encased in 
paper, with the names of the recipients written on each. 

After spending a pleasant evening in her drawing- 
room, she invited us into the parlor, where the " sur 
prise " awaited us. Each person commenced opening 
the packages bearing his or her address, and although 
every individual had one or more pretty presents, she 
had prepared a joke for each. Mr. Benedict, for 
instance, took off wrapper after wrapper from one of 
his packages, which at first was as large as his head, 
but after having removed some forty coverings of paper, 
it was reduced to a size smaller than his hand, and the 
removal of the last envelope exposed to view a piece 
of cavendish tobacco. One of my presents, choicely 
wrapped in a dozen coverings, was a jolly young Bac 
chus in Parian marble, intended as a pleasant hit at my 
temperance principles ! 

The night before New Year s day was spent in her 
apartment with great hilarity. Enlivened by music, 
singing, dancing and story-telling, the hours glided 
swiftly away. Miss Lind asked me if I would dance 
with her. I told her my education had been neglected 
in that line, and that I had never danced in my life. 
" That is all the better," said she ; " now dance with 

15 



316 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

me in a cotillion. I am sure you can do it." She 
was a beautiful dancer, and I never saw her laugh more 
heartily than she did at my awkwardness. She said 
she would give me the credit of being the poorest 
dancer she ever saw ! 

About a quarter before twelve, Jenny suddenly 
checked Mr. Burke, formerly celebrated as the musi 
cal prodigy, "Master Burke," who was playing on 
the piano, by saying, "Pray let us have quiet; do you 
see, in fifteen minutes more, this year will be gone for 
ever ! " 

She immediately took a seat, and rested her head up 
on her hand in silence. We all sat down, and for a 
quarter of an hour the most profound quiet reigned in 
the apartment. The remainder of the scene I transcribe 
from a description written the next day by Mrs. Lyman, 
who was present on the occasion : 

" The clock of a neighboring church struck the knell 
of the dying year. All were silent each heart was 
left to its own communings, and the bowed head and 
tearful eye told that memory was busy with the Past. It 
was a brief moment, but thoughts and feelings were 
crowded into it, which render it one never to be forgot 
ten. A moment more the last stroke of the clock 
had fallen upon the ear the last faint vibration ceased ; 
another period of time had passed forever away a 
new one had dawned, in which each felt that they were 
to live and act. This thought recalled them to a full 
consciousness of the present, and all arose and quietly, 
but cordially, presented to each other the kind wishes 
of the season. As the lovely hostess pressed the hands 
of her guests, it was evident that she, too, had wept, - 
she, the gifted, the admired, the almost idolized one. 



SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 317 

Had she, too, cause for tears ? Whence were they 1 
from the overflowings of a grateful heart, from tender 
associations, or from sad remembrances ? None knew, 
none could ask, though they awakened deep and pecu 
liar sympathy. And from one heart, at least, arose the 
prayer, that when the dial of time should mark the last 
hour of her earthly existence, she should greet its ap 
proach with joy and not with grief that to her soul 
spirit- voices might whisper, * Come, sweet sister ! come 
to the realms of unfading light and love come, join 
your seraphic tones with ours, in singing the praises of 
Him who loved us, and gave himself for us while 
she, with meekly-folded hands and faith-uplifted eye, 
should answer, c Yes, gladly and without fear I come, for 
T know that my Redeemer liveth. ?: 

I had arranged with a man in New York to transport 
furniture to Havana, provide a house, and board Jenny 
Lind and our immediate party during our stay. When 
we arrived, we found the building converted into a semi- 
hotel, and the apartments were any thing but comfort 
able. Jenny was vexed. Soon after dinner, she took a 
volante and an interpreter, and drove into the 
suburbs. She was absent four hours. Whither or why 
she had gone, none of us knew. At length she returned 
and informed us that she had hired a commodious fur 
nished house in a delightful location outside the walls of 
the city, and invited us all to go and live with her during 
our stay in Havana, and we accepted the invitation. 
She was now freed from all annoyances ; her time was 
her own, she received no calls, went and came when she 
pleased, had no meddlesome advisers about her, legal or 
otherwise, and was as merry as a cricket. We had a 
large court-yard in the rear of the house, and here she 



318 SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT. 

would come and romp and run, sing and laugh, like a 
young school-girl. "Now, Mr. Barnum, for another 
game of ball," she would say half a dozen times a day ; 
whereupon, she would take an india-rubber ball, (of 
which she had two or three,) and commence a game of 
throwing and catching, which would be kept up until, 
being completely tired out, I would say, " I give it up." 
Then her rich, musical laugh would be heard ringing 
through the house, as she exclaimed, " Oh, Mr. Barnum, 
you are too fat and too lazy ; you cannot stand it to play 
ball with me ! " 

Her celebrated countrywoman, Miss Frederika Bremer, 
spent a few days with us very pleasantly, and it is diffi 
cult to conceive of a more delightful month than was 
passed by the entire party at Jenny Lind s house in the 
outskirts of Havana. 



CHAPTER XX. 

INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR 

PROTEST AGAINST PRICES IN HAVANA THE CUBANS SUCCUMB JENNY LIND 
TAKES THE CITY BY STORM A MAGNIFICENT TRIUMPH COUNT PENALVER 
A SPLENDID OFFER MR. BRINCKERHOFF BENEFIT FOR THE HOSPITALS 
REFUSING TO RECEIVE THANKS VIVALLA AND HIS DOG HENRY BENNETT 
HIS PARTIAL INSANITY OUR VOYAGE TO NEW ORLEANS THE EDITOR OF 
THE NEW YORK HERALD ON BOARD I SAVE THE LIFE OF JAMES GORDON 
BENNETT ARRIVAL AT THE CRESCENT CITY CHEATING THE CROWD A 
DUPLICATE MISS LIND A BOY IN RAPTURES A MAMMOTH HOG UP THE 
MISSISSIPPI AMUSEMENTS ON BOARD IN LEAGUE WITH THE EVIL ONE 
AN AMAZED MULATTO, 

SOON after arriving in Havana, I discovered that a 
strong prejudice existed against our musical enterprise. 
I might rather say that the Habaneros, not accustomed 
to the high figure which tickets had commanded in the 
States, were determined on forcing me to adopt their 
opera prices, whereas I paid one thousand dollars per 
night for the Tacon Opera House, and other expenses 
being in proportion, I was determined to receive remu 
nerating prices, or give no concerts. This determina 
tion on my part annoyed the Habaneros, who did not 
wish to be thought penurious, though they really were 
so. Their principal spite, therefore, was against me ; 
and one of their papers politely termed me a " Yankee 
pirate," who cared for nothing except their doubloons. 
They attended the concert, but were determined to 
show the great songstress no favor. I perfectly under 
stood this feeling in advance, but studiously kept all 



320 INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. 

knowledge of it from Miss Lind. I went to the first 
concert, therefore, with some misgivings in regard to 
her reception. The following, which I copy from the 
Havana correspondence of the New York Tribune , gives 

a correct account of it : 

******** 

"Jenny Lind soon appeared, led on by Signor Belletti. Some three or four 
hundred persons clapped their hands at her appearance, but this token of appro 
bation was instantly silenced by at least two thousand five hundred decided hisses. 
Thus, having settled the matter that there should be no forestalling of public 
opinion, and that if applause Avas given to Jenny Lind in that house it should 
first be incontestably earned, the most solemn silence prevailed. I have heard 
the Swedish Nightingale often in Europe as well as in America and have 
ever noticed a distinct tremulousness attending her first appearance in any city. 
Indeed this feeling was plainly manifested in her countenance as she neared the 
foot-lights ; but when she witnessed the kind of reception in store for her so 
different from anything she had reason to expect her countenance changed in 
an instant to a haughty self-possession, her eye flashed defiance, and, becoming 
immovable as a statue, she stood there, perfectly calm and beautiful. She was 
satisfied that she now had an ordeal to pass and a victory to gain worthy of her 
powers. In a moment her eye scanned the immense audience, the music began 
and then followed how can I describe it? such heavenly strains as I verily 
believe mortal never breathed except Jenny Lind, and mortal never heard except 
from her lips. Some of the oldest Castilians kept a frown upon their brow and a 
curling sneer upon their lip ; their ladies, however, and most of the audience 
began to look surprised. The gushing melody flowed on increasing in beauty and 
glory. The caballeros, the senoras and senoritas began to look at each other; 
nearly all, however, kept their teeth clenched and their lips closed, evidently deter 
mined to resist to the last. The torrent flowed deeper and faster, the lark flew 
higher and higher, the melody grew richer and grander ; still every lip was com 
pressed. By and by, as the rich notes came dashing in rivers upon our enraptured 
ears, one poor critic involuntarily whispered a brava. This outbursting of the 
soul was instantly hissed down. The stream of harmony rolled on till, at the 
close, it made a clean sweep of every obstacle, and carried all before it. Not a 
vestige of opposition remained, but such a tremendous shout of applause as went 
up I never before heard. 

"The triumph was most complete. And how was Jenny Lind affected? She 
who stood a few moments previous like adamant, now trembled like a reed in 
the wind before the storm of enthusiasm which her own simple notes had pro 
duced. Tremblingly, slowly, and almost bowing her face to the ground, she 
withdrew. The roar and applause of victory increased. Encore ! encore ! encore I 
came from every lip. She again appeared, and, courtesying low, again withdrew, 
but again, again, and again did they call her out and at every appearance the 
thunders of applause rang louder and louder. Thus five times was Jenny Lind 
called out to receive their unanimous and deafening plaudits." 

I cannot express what my feelings were as I watched 
this scene from the dress circle. Poor Jenny ! I deeply 



INCIDENTS OF THE TOUB. 321 

sympathized with her when I heard that first hiss. 1 
indeed observed the resolute bearing which she assumed, 
but was apprehensive of the result. When I witnessed 
her triumph, I could not restrain the tears of joy that 
rolled down my cheeks ; and rushing through a private 
box, I reached the stage just as she was withdrawing 
after the fifth encore. " God bless you, Jenny, you have 
settled them ! " I exclaimed. 

" Are you satisfied I " said she, throwing her arms 
around my neck. She, too, was crying with joy, and 
never before did she look so beautiful in my eyes as on 
that evening. 

One of the Havana papers, notwithstanding the great 
triumph, continued to cry out for low prices. This 
induced many to absent themselves, expecting soon to 
see a reduction. It had been understood that we would 
give twelve concerts in Havana ; but when they saw, 
after the fourth concert, which was devoted to charity, 
that no more were announced, they became uneasy. 
Committees waited upon us requesting more concerts, 
but we peremptorily declined. Some of the leading 
Dons, among whom was Count Penal ver, then offered to 
guarantee us $25,000 for three concerts. My reply was, 
that there was not money enough on the island of Cuba 
to induce me to consent to it. That settled the matter, 
and gave us a pleasant opportunity for recreation. 

We visited, by invitation, Mr. Brinckerhoff, the emi 
nent American merchant at Matanzas, whom I had met 
at the same place three years previously, and who sub 
sequently had visited my family in Connecticut. The 
gentlemanly host did everything in his power to render 
our stay agreeable ; and Miss Lind was so delighted 
with his attentions and the interesting details of sugar 



322 INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR 

and coffee plantations which we visited through his 
kindness, that as soon as she returned to Havana, she 
sent on the same tour of pleasure Mr. Benedict, who 
had been prevented by illness from accompanying us. 

I found my little Italian plate-dancer, Vivalla, in 
Havana. He called on me frequently. He was in 
great distress, having lost the use of his limbs on the 
left side of his body by paralysis. He was thus unable 
to earn a livelihood, although he still kept a performing 
dog, which turned a spinning-wheel and performed some 
curious tricks. One day, as I was passing him out of 
the front gate, Miss Lind inquired who he was. I 
briefly recounted to her his history. She expressed 
deep interest in his case, and said something should be 
set apart for him in the benefit which she was about to 
give for charity. Accordingly, when the benefit came 
off, Miss Lind appropriated $500 to him, and I made 
the necessary arrangements for his return to his friends 
in Italy. At the same benefit $4,000 were distributed 
between two hospitals and a convent. 

A few mornings after the benefit our bell was rung, 
and the servant announced that I was wanted. I went 
to the door and found a large procession of children, 
neatly dressed and bearing banners, attended by ten or 
twelve priests, arrayed in their rich and flowing robes. 
I inquired their business, and was informed that they 
had come to see Miss Lind, to thank her in person for 
her benevolence. I took their message, and informed 
Miss Lind that the leading priests of the convent had 
come in great state to see and thank her. " I will not 
see them," she replied ; " they have nothing to thank 
me for. If I have done good, it is no more than 
my duty, and it is my pleasure. I do not deserve their 



INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR 323 

thanks, and I will not see them." I returned her 
answer, and the leaders of the grand procession went 
away in disappointment. 

The same day Vivalla called, and brought her a basket 
of the most luscious fruit that he could procure. The 
little fellow was very happy and extremely grateful. 
Miss Lind had gone out for a ride. 

" God bless her ! I am so happy ; she is such a good 
lady. I shall see my brothers and sisters again. Oh, 
she is a very good lady," said poor Vivalla, overcome by 
his feelings. He begged me to thank her for him, and 
give her the fruit. As he was passing out of the door, 
he hesitated a moment, and then said, " Mr. Barnum, I 
should like so much to have the good lady see my dog 
turn a wheel ; it is very nice ; he can spin very good. 
Shall I bring the dog and wheel for her ] She is such 
a good lady, I wish to please her very much." I smiled, 
and told him she would not care for the dog ; that he 
was quite welcome to the money, and that she refused 
to see the priests from the convent that morning, 
because she never received thanks for favors. 

When Jenny came in I gave her the fruit, and laugh 
ingly told her that Vivalla wished to show her how his 
performing dog could turn a spinning-wheel. 

" Poor man, poor man, do let him come ; it is all the 
good creature can do for me," exclaimed Jenny, and the 
tears flowed thick and fast down her cheeks. " I like 
that, I like that," she continued ; "do let the poor crea 
ture come and bring his dog. It will make him so 
happy." 

I confess it made me happy, and I exclaimed, for my 
heart was full, " God bless you, it will make him cry for 
joy ; he shall come to-morrow." 

15* 



324 INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. 

I saw Vivalla the same evening, and delighted him 
with the intelligence that Jenny would see his dog per 
form the next day, at four o clock precisely. 

" I will be punctual," said Vivalla, in a voice trem 
bling with emotion ; " but I was sure she would like to 
see my dog perform." 

For full half an hour before the time appointed did 
Jenny Lind sit in her window on the second floor and 
watch for Vivalla and his dog. A few minutes before 
the appointed hour, she saw him coming. " Ah, here 
he comes ! here he comes ! " she exclaimed in delight, as 
she ran down stairs and opened the door to admit him. 
A negro boy was bringing the small spinning-wheel, 
while Vivalla led the dog. Handing the boy a silver 
coin, she motioned him away, and taking the wheel in 
her arms, she said, " This is very kind of you to come 
with your dog. Follow me. I will carry the wheel 
up stairs." Her servant offered to take the wheel, but 
no, she would let no one carry it but herself. She 
called us all up to her parlor, and for one full hour did 
she devote herself to the happy Italian. She went 
down on her knees to pet the dog and to ask Vivalla all 
sorts of questions about his performances, his former 
course of life, his friends in Italy, and his present hopes 
and determinations. Then she sang and played for him, 
gave him some refreshments, finally insisted on carrying 
his wheel to the door, and her servant accom 
panied Vivalla to his boarding-house. 

Poor Vivalla ! He was probably never so happy 
before, but his enjoyment did not exceed that of Miss 
Lind. That scene alone would have paid me for all my 
labors during the entire musical campaign. A few 
months later, however, the Havana correspondent of the 



INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. 

New York Herald announced the death of Vivalla and 
stated that the poor Italian s last words were about 
Jenny Lind and Mr. Barnum. 

When Captain Rawlings, of the Steamer " Isabella " 
made his next return trip from Charleston, he brought 
a fine lot of game and invited Messrs. Benedict, 
Belletti and myself to a breakfast on board, where 
we met Mr. John Howard, of the Irving House, 
New York, Mr. J. B. Monnot, of the New York 
Hotel, Mr. Mixer, of the Charleston Hotel, and Mr. 
Monroe of one of the Havana hotels. The break 
fast was a very nice one, and was accompanied by 
some " very fine old Madeira," which received the 
highest encomiums of the company. 

" Now," said Captain Ilawlings, " you must break 
your rule once, Mr. Barnum, and wash down your 
game with a glass or two of this choice Madeira. It 
is very old and fine, as smooth as oil, and the 
game is hardly game without it. Do take some." 

I positively declined, saying I did not doubt that 
he had the genuine article for once, but that most 
of what was offered and sold as wine did not con 
tain a single drop of the juice of the grape. This 
led to a general talk about the impositions practised, 
even in the best hotels, in serving customers with 
" fine old wines and liquors " at the bar and at the 
table, and some very curious and amusing stories 
were told and confessions made. But there could be 
no mistake about this Madeira ; it was rich, rare, old, 
oily, and genuine in flavor and quality ; all the connois 
seurs at the table were unanimous in their verdict. 

But when the breakfast was over and we were going 
ashore, as I was sitting next the captain in his own 
boat, he said to nifi r 



326 



INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR 



" Barnum, that fine old Madeira is the real e game * 
of my game breakfast ; I wanted to test those experi 
enced tasters, and I gave them some wine which I 
bought for a dollar and a half a gallon at a corner 
grocery in Charleston." 

In the party which accompanied me to Havana, was 
Mr. Henry Bennett, who formerly kept Peale s Museum 
in New York, afterwards managing the same establish 
ment for me when I purchased it, and he was now with 
me in the capacity of a ticket-taker. He was as honest 
a man as ever lived, and a good deal of a wag. I 
remember his going through the market once and run 
ning across a decayed actor who was reduced to tending 
a market stand ; Bennett hailed him with " Hallo ! what 
are you doing here ; what are you keeping that old tur 
key for ? " 

" O ! for a profit," replied the actor. 

"Prophet, prophet!" exclaimed Bennett, "patriarch, 
you mean ! " 

With all his waggery he was subject at times to moods 
of the deepest despondency, bordering on insanity. 
Madness ran in his family. His brother, in a fit of 
frenzy, had blown his brains out. Henry himself had 
twice attempted his own life while in my employ in 
New York. Some time after our present journey to Ha 
vana, I sent him to London. He conducted my business 
precisely as I directed, writing up his account with me 
correctly to a penny. Then handing it to a mutual 
friend with directions to give it to me when I arrived in 
London the following week, he went to his lodgings and 
committed suicide. 

While we were in Havana, Bennett was so despon 
dent at times that we were obliged to watch him care- 



INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. 327 

fully, lest he should do some damage to himself or 
others. When we left Havana for New Orleans, on 
board the steamer " Falcon," Mr. James Gordon Ben 
nett, editor of the New York Herald, and his wife were 
also passengers. After permitting one favorable notice 
in his paper, Bennett had turned around, as usual, and 
had abused Jenny Lind and bitterly attacked me. 
There was an estrangement, no new thing, between the 
editor and myself. The Herald, in its desire to excite 
attention, has a habit of attacking public men and I had 
not escaped. I was always glad to get such notices, 
for they served as inexpensive advertisements to my 
Museum, and brought custom to me free of charge. 

Ticket-taker Bennett, however, took much to heart 
the attacks of Editor Bennett upon Jenny Lind, and 
while in New York he threatened to cowhide his name 
sake, as so many men have actually done in days gone 
by, but I restrained him. When Editor Bennett came 
on board the " Falcon," he had in his arms a small pet 
monkey belonging to his wife, and the animal was 
placed in a safe place on the forward deck. When 
Henry Bennett saw the editor he said to a bystander : 

" I would willingly be drowned if I could see that 
old scoundrel go to the bottom of the sea." 

Several of our party overheard the remark and I 
turned laughingly to Bennett and said : " Nonsense ; ho 
can t harm any one and there is an old proverb about the 
impossibility of drowning those who are born to another 
fate." 

That very night, however, as I stood near the cabin 
door, conversing with my treasurer and other members 
of my company, Henry Bennett came up to me with a 
wild air, and hoarsely whispered : 



328 INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. 

u Old Bennett has gone forward alone in the dark to 
feed his monkey, and d n him, I am going to throw 
him overboard." 

We were all startled, for we knew the man and he 
seemed terribly in earnest. Knowing how most effect 
ively to address him at such times, I exclaimed . 

" Ridiculous ! you would not do such a thing." 

" I swear I will," was his savage reply. I expostu 
lated with him, and several of our party joined me. 

" Nobody will know it," muttered the maniac, " and 
I shall be doing the world a favor." 

I endeavored to awaken him to a sense of the crime 
he contemplated, assuring him that it could not possibly 
benefit any one, and that from the fact of the relations 
existing between the editor and myself, I should be the 
first to be accused of his murder. I implored him to go 
to his stateroom, and he finally did so, accompanied by 
some of the gentlemen of our party. I took pains to 
see that he was carefully watched that night, and, 
indeed, for several days, till he became calm again. He 
was a large, athletic man, quite able to pick up his 
namesake and drop him overboard. The matter was 
too serious for a joke, and we made little mention of 
it ; but more than one of my party said then, and has 
said since, what I really believe to be true, that " James 
Gordon Bennett would have been drowned that night 
had it not been for P. T. Barnum." 

This incident has long been known to several of my 
intimate friends, and when Mr. Bennett learns the fact 
from this volume, he may possibly be somewhat mollified 
over his payment to me, fifteen years later, of $ 200,000 
for the unexpired lease of my Museum, concerning 
which some particulars will be given anon. 



INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR 329 

In New Orleans the wharf was crowded by a great 
concourse of persons, as the steamer " Falcon" ap 
proached. Jenny Lind had enjoyed a month of quiet, 
and dreaded the excitement which she must now 
again encounter. 

"Mr. Barnum, I am sure I can never get through 
that crowd," said she, in despair. 

" Leave that to me. Remain quiet for ten minutes, 
and there shall be no crowd here," I replied. 

Taking my daughter on my arm, she threw her 
veil over her face, and we descended the gangway 
to the dock. The crowd pressed around. I had 
beckoned for a carriage before leaving the ship. 

"That s Barnum, I know him," called out several 
persons at the top of their voices. 

" Open the way, if you please, for Mr. Barnum 
and Miss Lind !" cried Le Grand Smith over the 
railing of the ship, the deck of which he had just 
reached from the wharf. 

" Don t crowd her, if you please, gentlemen," I ex 
claimed, and by dint of pushing, squeezing and coax 
ing, we reached the carriage, and drove for the 
Montalba buildings, where Miss Lind s apartments had 
been prepared, and the whole crowd came following at 
our heels. In a few minutes afterwards, Jenny and her 
companion came quietly in a carriage, and were in the 
house before the ruse was discovered. In answer 
to incessant calls, she appeared a moment upon the 
balcony, waved her handkerchief, received three hearty 
cheers, and the crowd dispersed. 

A poor blind boy, residing in the interior of Missis 
sippi, a flute-player, and an ardent lover of music, 
visited New Orleans expressly to hear Jenny Lind. 



330 INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR 

A subscription had been taken up among his neighbors 
to defray the expenses. This fact coming to the ears 
of Jenny, she sent for him, played and sang for him, 
gave him many words of joy and comfort, took him 
to her concerts, and sent him away considerably richer 
than he had ever been before. 

A funny incident occurred at New Orleans. Our 
concerts were given in the St. Charles Theatre, then 
managed by my good friend, the late Sol. Smith. In 
the open lots near the theatre were exhibitions of 
mammoth hogs, five-footed horses, grizzly bears, and 
other animals. 

A gentleman had a son about twelve years old, who 
had a wonderful ear for music. He could whistle or 
sing any tune after hearing it once. His father did not 
know nor care for a single note, but so anxious was he 
to please his son, that he paid thirty dollars for two 
tickets to the concert. 

" I liked the music better than I expected," said he to 
me the next day, " but my son was in raptures. He 
was so perfectly enchanted that he scarcely spoke the 
whole evening and I would on no account disturb his 
delightful reveries. When the concert was finished we 
came out of the theatre. Not a word was spoken. I 
knew that my musical prodigy was happy among the 
clouds, and I said nothing. I could not help envying him 
his love of music, and considered my thirty dollars as 
nothing, compared to the bliss which it secured to him. 
Indeed, I was seriously thinking of taking him to the 
next concert, when he spoke. We were just passing the 
numerous shows upon the vacant lots. One of the signs 
attracted him, and he said, e Father, let us go in and see 
the big hog ! The little scamp ! I could have horse- 



INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR 

whipped him!" said the father, who, loving a joke, 
could not help laughing at the ludicrous incident. 

Some months afterwards, I was relating this story at 
my own table to several guests, among whom was a very 
matter-of-fact man who had not the faintest conception 
of humor. After the whole party had laughed heartily 
at the anecdote, my matter-of-fact friend gravely asked : 

" And was it a very large hog, Mr. Barnum ? " 

I made arrangements with the captain of the splen 
did steamer " Magnolia," of Louisville, to take our party 
as far as Cairo, the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio 
rivers, stipulating for sufficient delay in Natchez, Mis 
sissippi, and in Memphis, Tennessee, to give a concert 
in each place. It was no unusual thing for me to char 
ter a steamboat or a special train of cars for our party. 
With such an enterprise as that, time and comfort were 
paramount to money. 

The time on board the steamer was whiled away in 
reading, viewing the scenery of the Mississippi, and 
other diversions. One day we had a pleasant musical 
festival in the ladies saloon for the gratification of the 
passengers, at which Jenny volunteered to sing without 
ceremony. It seemed to us she never sang so sweetly 
before. I also did rny best to amuse my fellow passen 
gers with anecdotes and the exhibition of sundry 
legerdemain tricks which I had been obliged to learn 
and use in the South years before and under far differ 
ent circumstances than those which attended the per 
formance now. Among other tricks, I caused a quarter 
of a dollar to disappear so mysteriously from beneath a 
card, that the mulatto barber on board came to the 
conclusion that I was in league with the devil. 

The next morning I seated myself for the operation 



332 INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. 

of shaving, and the colored gentleman ventured to dip 
into the mystery. " Beg pardon, Mr. Barnum, but I 
have heard a great deal about you, and I saw more than 
I wanted to see last night. Is it true that you have sold 
yourself to the devil, so that you can do what you ve a 
mind to 1 " 

" Oh, yes," was my reply, " that is the bargain 
between us." 

" How long did you agree for ] " was the question 
next in order. 

" Only nine years," said I. " I have had three of them 
already. Before the other six are out, I shall find a 
way to nonplus the old gentleman, and I have told him 
so to his face." 

At this avowal, a larger space of white than usual 
was seen in the darkey s eyes, and he inquired, " Is it 
by this bargain that you get so much money ? " 

" Certainly. No matter who has money, nor where 
he keeps it, in his box or till, or anywhere about him, 
I have only to speak the words, and it comes." 

The shaving was completed in silence, but thought 
had been busy in the barber s mind, and he embraced 
the speediest opportunity to transfer his bag of coin to 
the iron safe in charge of the clerk. 

The movement did not escape me, and immediately a 
joke was afoot. I had barely time to make two or three 
details of arrangement with the clerk, and resume my 
seat in the cabin, ere the barber sought a second inter 
view, bent on testing the alleged powers of Beelze 
bub s colleague. 

" Beg pardon, Mr. Barnum, but where is my money 1 
Can you get it 1 " 

" I do not want your money," was the quiet answer 
u It is safe." 



INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. 333 

" Yes, I know it is safe ha! ha! it is in the 
iron safe in the clerk s office safe enough from 
you!" 

"It is not in the iron safe ! " said I. This was said 
so quietly, yet positively, that the colored gentleman 
ran to the office, and inquired if all was safe. " All 
right," said the clerk. " Open, and let me see," replied 
the barber. The safe was unlocked and lo ! the money 
was gone ! 

In mystified terror the loser applied to me for relief. 
" You will find the bag in your drawer," said I, and 
there it was found ! 

Of course, I had a confederate, but the mystifica 
tion of that mulatto was immense. 



CHAPTER XXL 

JENNY LIND. 

ARRIVAL AT ST. LOUIS SURPRISING PROPOSITION OF MISS LIND S SECRETARY 

HOW THE MANAGER MANAGED READINESS TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT 
CONSULTATION WITH " UNCLE SOL." BARNUM NOT TO BE HIRED A " JOKE " 

TEMPERANCE LECTURE IN THE THEATRE SOL. SMITH A COMEDIAN, 
AUTHOR, AND LAWYER UNIQUE DEDICATION JENNY LIND s CHARACTER 
AND CHARITIES SHARP WORDS FROM THE WEST SELFISH ADVISERS 
MISS LIND S GENEROUS IMPULSES HER SIMPLE AND CHILDLIKE CHARACTER 

CONFESSIONS OF A MANAGER PRIVATE REPUTATION AND PUBLIC RENOWN 

CHARACTER AS A STOCK IN TRADE LE GRAND SMITH MR. DOLBY THE 
ANGELIC SIDE KEPT OUTSIDE MY OWN SHARE IN THE PUBLIC BENEFITS 
JUSTICE TO MISS LIND AND MYSELF. 

ACCORDING to agreement, the " Magnolia" waited for 
us at Natchez and Memphis, and we gave profitable 
concerts at both places. The concert at Memphis was 
the sixtieth in the list since Miss Lind s arrival in 
America, and the first concert in St. Louis would be 
the sixty-first. When we reached that city, on the 
morning of the day when our first concert was to be 
given, Miss Lind s secretary came to me, commissioned, 
he said, by her, and announced that as sixty concerts 
had already taken place, she proposed to avail herself 
of one of the conditions of our contract, and cancel the 
engagement next morning. As this was the first inti 
mation of the kind I had received, I was somewhat 
startled, though I assumed an entirely placid demeanor, 
and asked : 

" Does Miss Lind authorize you to give me this 
notice ? " 



JENNY LIND, 335 

" I so understand it," was the reply. 

I immediately reflected that if our contract was thus 
suddenly cancelled, Miss Lind was bound to repay to me 
all I had paid her over the stipulated $1,000 for each 
concert, and a little calculation showed that the sum 
thus to be paid back was $77,000, since she had 
already received from me $137,000 for sixty concerts. 
In this view, I could not but think that this was a ruse 
of some of her advisers, and, possibly, that she might 
know nothing of the matter. So I told her secretary 
that I would see him again in an hour, and meanwhile I 
went to my old friend Mr. Sol. Smith for his legal and 
friendly advice. 

I showed him my contract and told him how much I 
fiad been annoyed by the selfish and greedy hangers-on 
and advisers, legal and otherwise, of Jenny Lind. I 
talked to him about the " wheels within wheels " which 
moved this great musical enterprise, and asked and 
gladly accepted his advice, which mainly coincided 
with my own views of the situation. I then went 
back to the secretary and quietly told him that I was 
ready to settle with Miss Lind and to close the engage 
ment. 

" But," said he, manifestly " taken aback," " you have 
already advertised concerts in Louisville and Cincinnati, 
I believe." 

" Yes ," I replied ; " but you may take my contracts 
for halls and printing off my hands at cost." I further 
said that he was welcome to the assistance of my agent 
who had made these arrangements, and, moreover, that 
I would cheerfully give my own services to help them 
through with these concerts, thus giving them a good 
start " on their own hook," 



336 JENNY LIND. 

My liberality, which he acknowledged, emboldened 
him to make an extraordinary proposition : 

" Now suppose," he asked, " Miss Lind should wish 
to give some fifty concerts in this country, what would 
you charge as manager, per concert ? " 

" A million dollars each, not one cent less," I replied. 
I was now thoroughly aroused ; the whole thing was as 
clear as daylight, and I continued : 

" Now we might as well understand each other ; I 
do n t believe Miss Lind has authorized you to propose 
to me to cancel our contract ; but if she has, just bring 
me a line to that effect over her signature and her check 
for the amount due me by the terms of that contract, 
some $77,000, and we will close our business connec 
tions at once." 

64 But why not make a new arrangement," persisted 
the Secretary, " for fifty concerts more, by which Miss 
Lind shall pay you liberally, say $1,000 per con 
cert]" 

" Simply because I hired Miss Lind, and not she me," 
I. replied, " and because I never ought to take a farthing 
less for my risk and trouble than the contract gives me. 
I have voluntarily paid Miss Lind more than twice as 
much as I originally contracted to pay her, or as she 
expected to receive when she first engaged with me. 
Now, if she is not satisfied, I wish to settle instantly and 
finally. If you do not bring me her decision to-day, I 
shall go to her for it to-morrow morning." 

I met the secretary soon after breakfast next morning 
and asked him if he had a written communication for me 
from Miss Lind? He said he had not and that the 
whole thing was a "joke." He merely wanted, he 
added, to see what I would say to the proposition. I 



JENNY LIND. 337 

asked him if Miss Lind was in the "joke," as he called 
it ? He hoped I would not inquire, but would let the 
matter drop. I went on, as usual, and gave four more 
concerts in St. Louis, and followed out my programme as 
arranged in other cities for many weeks following ; nor 
at that time, nor at any time afterwards, did Miss Lind 
give me the slightest intimation that she had any knowl 
edge of the proposition of her secretary to cancel our 
agreement or to employ me as her manager. 

During our stay at St. Louis, I delivered a temper 
ance lecture in the theatre, and at the close, among 
other signers, of the pledge, was my friend and adviser, 
Sol. Smith. " Uncle Sol." as every one called him, 
was a famous character in his time. He was an excel 
lent comedian, an author, a manager and a lawyer. 
For a considerable period of his life, he was largely 
concerned in theatricals in St. Louis, New Orleans and 
other cities, and acquired a handsome property. He 
died at a ripe old age, in 1869, respected and lamented 
by all who knew him. I esteem it an honor to have 
been one of his intimate friends. 

A year or two before he died, he published a very 
interesting volume, giving a full account of the lead 
ing incidents in his long and varied career as an actor 
and manager. He had previously, in 1854, pub 
lished an autobiographical work, comprising an account 
of the " second seven years of his professional life," 
together with sketches of adventure in after years, 
and entitled " The Theatrical Journey- Work and Anec- 
dotical Recollections of Sol. Smith, Comedian, Attor 
ney at Law," etc. This unique work was preceded by 

a dedication which I venture to copy. It was as fol- 
-, ho r</ 

lows : 

16 



338 JENNY LIND. 

" TO PHINEAS T. BARNUM, PROPRIETOR OF THE AMERICAN 
MUSEUM, ETC. 

" Great Impressario : Whilst you were engaged in 
your grand Jenny Lind speculation, the following conun 
drum went the rounds of the American newspapers : 

" Why is it that Jenny Lind and Barnum will never 
fall out 1 Answer : fc Because he is always for-getting, 
and she is always for-giving. 

" I have never asked you the question directly, 
whether you, Mr. Barnum, started that conundrum, or 
not ; but I strongly suspect that you did. At all events, 
I noticed that your whole policy was concentrated into 
one idea to make an angel of Jenny, and depreciate 
yourself in contrast. 

" You may remember that in this city (St. Louis), I 
acted in one instance as your legal adviser, and as such, 
necessarily became acquainted with all the particulars 
of your contract with the so-called Swedish Nightingale, 
as well as the various modifications claimed by that 
charitable lady, and submitted to by you after her 
arrival in this country ; which modifications (I sup 
pose it need no longer be a secret) secured to her 
besides the original stipulation of one thousand dol 
lars for every concert, attendants, carriages, assistant 
artists, and a pompous and extravagant retinue, fit 
(only) for a European princess one half of the profits 
of each performance. You may also remember the 
legal advice I gave you on the occasion referred to, 
and the salutary effect of your following it You must 
remember the extravagant joy you felt afterwards, in 
Philadelphia, when the Angel made up her mind to 
avail herself of one of the stipulations in her contract, 
to break off at the end of a hundred nights, and even 



JENNY LIND. 339 

( 

bought out seven of that hundred supposing that 
she could go on without your aid as well as with it. And 
you cannot but remember, how, like a rocket-stick she 
dropped, when your business connection with her ended, 
and how she fizzed out the remainder of her concert 
-.nights in this part of the world, and soon afterwards 
retired to her domestic blissitude in Sweden. 

" You know, Mr. Barnum, if you would only tell, 
which of the two it was that was for-getting, and 
which for-giving ; and you also know who actually 
gave the larger portion of those sums which you 
heralded to the world as the sole gifts of the divine 
Jenny/ 

" Of all your speculations from the negro centena- 
rina, who didn t nurse General Washington, down 
to the Bearded Woman of Genoa there was not 
one which required the exercise of so much hum- 
buggery as the Jenny Lind concerts ; and I verily be 
lieve there is no man living, other than yourself, who 
could, or would, have risked the enormous expendi 
ture of money necessary to carry them through success 
fully travelling, with sixty artists, four thousand 
miles, and giving ninety-three concerts, at an actual 
cost of forty-five hundred dollars each, is what no 
other man would have undertaken you accomplished 
this, and pocketed by the operation but little less than 
two hundred thousand dollars ! Mr. Barnum, you 
are yourself, alone ! 

" I honor you, oh ! Great Impressario, as the most 
successful manager in America or any other country. 
Democrat, as you are, you can give a practical lesson to 
the aristocrats of Europe how to live. At your beauti 
ful and tasteful v^sidence, Iranistan (I do n t like the 



340 JENNY LIND. 

name, though,) you can and do entertain your friends 
with a warmth of hospitality, only equalled by that of 
the great landed proprietors of the old country, or of 
our own sunny South/ Whilst riches are pouring into 
your coffers from your various ventures in all parts of 
the world, you do not hoard your immense means, but 
continually cast them forth upon the waters, reward 
ing labor, encouraging the arts, and lending a helping 
hand to industry in all its branches. Not content with 
doing all this, you deal telling blows, whenever oppor 
tunity offers, upon the monster Intemperance. Your 
labors in this great cause alone, should entitle you to 
the thanks of all good men, women and children in the 
land. Mr. Barnum, you deserve all your good fortune, 
and I hope you may long live to enjoy your wealth and 
honor. 

" As a small instalment towards the debt, I, as one of 
the community, owe you, and with the hope of afford 
ing you an hour s amusement (if you can spare that 
amount of time from your numerous avocations to read 
it), I present you with this little volume, containing a 
very brief account of some of my journey-work in 
the south and west ; and remain, very respectfully, 

" Your friend, and affectionate uncle, 

" SOL. SMITH. 
^ CHOUTEAU AVENUE, ST. Louis, 

"Nov. 1, 1854." 

" Uncle " Sol. Smith must be held solely responsible 
for his extravagant estimate of P. T. Barnum, and for 
his somewhat deprecatory view of the attributes of the 
" divine Jenny." It is true that he derived many of his 
impressions of Miss Lind from the annoying circum- 



JENNY LEND. 341 

stances that compelled me to seek his professional advice 
and assistance in St. Louis, when Jenny Lind s secretary 
came to me with an assumed authorization from her to 
abruptly close our engagement. But when Sol. Smith s 
dedication was first published, there were plenty ot 
people and papers throughout the land that were eager 
to catch up and indorse this new view of Miss Lind s 
character. The Athenians were sometimes sick, no 
doubt, of hearing Aristides always called " the Just." 
Yet, some of the sharp things which Sol. Smith means 
to say about Miss Lind, apply rather to the selfish persons 
who, unfortunately, were more in her confidence than I 
ever aspired to be, and who assumed to advise her and 
thus easily perverted her better judgment. 

With all her excellent and even extraordinarily good 
qualities, however, Jenny Lind was human, though the 
reputation she bore in Europe for her many charitable 
acts led me to believe, till I knew her, that she was 
nearly perfect. I think now that her natural impulses 
were more simple, childlike, pure and generous than 
those of almost any other person I ever met. But she 
had been petted, almost worshipped, so long, that it 
would have been strange indeed if her unbounded popu 
larity had not in some degree affected her to her hurt, 
and it must not be thought extraordinary if she now and 
then exhibited some phase of human weakness. 

Like most persons of uncommon talent, she had a 
strong will which, at times, she found ungovernable ; 
but if she was ever betrayed into a display of ill-temper 
she was sure to apologize and express her regret after 
wards. Le Grand Smith, who was quite intimate \vith 
her, and who was my right-hand man during the entire 
Lind engagement, used sometimes to say to me : 



342 JENNY LIND. 

" Well, Mr. Barnum, you have managed wonderfully 
in always keeping Jenny s angel side outside with the 
public." 

More than one Englishman I may instance Mr. 
Dolby, Mr. Dickens s agent during his last visit to 
America expressed surprise at the confirmed impres 
sion of " perfection " entertained by the general Ameri 
can public in regard to the Swedish Nightingale. 
These things are WTitten with none but the kindest 
feelings towards the sweet songstress, and only to modify 
the too current ideas of superhuman excellence which 
cannot be characteristic of any mortal being. 

As I have before intimated in giving details of my 
management of the enterprise, believing, as I did when 
I engaged her, in her " angelic" reputation, I am frank 
enough to confess that I considered her private charac 
ter a valuable adjunct, even in a business point of view, 
to her renown as a singer. I admit that I took her 
charities into account as part of my " stock in trade." 
Whenever she sang for a public or private charity, she 
gave her voice, which was worth a thousand dollars to 
her every evening. At such times, I always insisted 
upon paying for the hall, orchestra, printing, and other 
expenses, because I felt able and willing to contribute 
my full share towards the worthy objects which 
prompted these benefits. 

This narration would be incomplete if I did not add 
the following : 

We were in Havana when I showed to Miss Lind a 
paper containing the conundrum on " for-getting " and 
" for-giving," at which she laughed heartily, but immedi 
ately checked herself and said : 

" O ! Mr. Barnum, this is not fair ; you know that 



JENNY LIND. 343 

yon really give more than I do from the proceeds of 
every one of these charity concerts." 

And it is but just to her to say that she frequently 
remonstrated with me and declared that the actual 
expenses should be deducted and the thus lessened sum 
devoted to the charity for which the concert might be 
given ; but I always laughingly told her that I must do 
my part, give my share, and that if it was purely 
a business operation, " bread cast upon the waters," it 
would return, perhaps, buttered ; for the larger her 
reputation for liberality, the more liberal the public 
would surely be to us and to our enterprise. 

I have no wish to conceal these facts ; and I certainly 
have no desire to receive a larger meed of praise than 
my qualified generosity merits. Justice to myself and 
to my management, as well as to Miss Lind, seems to 
permit, if not to demand, this explanation. 






CHAPTEE XXII. 

CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 



PENITENT TICKET PURCHASERS VISIT TO THE "HERMITAGE" "APRIL FOOL," 
7UST THE MAMMOTH CAVE SIGNOR SALVI GEORGE D. PRENTICE PER 
FORMANCE IN A PORK HOUSE RUSE AT CINCINNATI ANNOYANCES AT 
PITTSBURG LE GRAND SMITH S GRAND JOKE RETURN TO NEW YORK 
THE FINAL CONCERTS IN CASTLE GARDEN AND METROPOLITAN HALL THE 
ADVISERS APPEAR THE NINETY-THIRD CONCERT MY OFFER TO CLOSE THE 
ENGAGEMENT MISS LIND s LETTER ACCEPTING MY PROPOSITION STORY 
ABOUT AN "IMPROPER PLACE" JENNY S CONCERTS ON HER OWN ACCOUNT 
HER MARRIAGE TO MR. OTTO GOLDSCHMIDT CORDIAL RELATIONS 
BETWEEN MRS. LIND GOLDSCHMIDT AND MYSELF AT HOME AGAIN STATE 

MENT OF THE TOTAL RECEIPTS OF THE CONCERTS. 

AFTER five concerts in St. Louis, we went to Nashville, 
Tennessee, where we gave our sixty-sixth and sixty- 
seventh concert^ in this country. At the first ticket 
auction in that city, the excitement was considerable 
and the bidding spirited, as was generally the case. 
After the auction was over, one of my men, happening 
in at a dry-goods store in the town, heard the proprietor 
say, " I ll give five dollars to any man who will take me 
out and give me a good horse- whipping ! I deserve It, 
and am willing to pay for having it done. To think 
that I should have been such a fool as to have paid 
forty-eight dollars for four tickets for my wife, two 
daughters, and myself, to listen to music for only two 
hours, makes me mad with myself, and I want to pay 
somebody for giving me a thundering good horse-whip 
ping ! " I am not sure that others have not experienced 
a somewhat similar feeling, when they became cool and 
rational, and the excitement of novelty and competition 
had passed away. 



CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 345 

While at Nashville, Jenny Lind, accompanied by my 
daughter, Mrs. Lyman, and myself, visited " the Her 
mitage," the late residence of General Jackson. On 
that occasion, for the first time that season, we heard 
the wild mocking-birds singing in the trees. This gave 
Jenny Lind great delight, as she had never before heard 
them sing except in their wire-bound cages. 

The first of April occurred while we were in Nash 
ville. I was considerably annoyed during the forenoon 
by the calls of members of the company who came to 
me under the belief that I had sent for them. After 
dinner I concluded to give them all a touch of " April 
fool." The following article, which appeared the next 
morning in the Nashville Daily American, my amanuen 
sis having imparted the secret to the editor, will show 
how it was done : 

"A series of laughable jokes came off yesterday at the Veranda in honor of 
All Fools Day. Mr. Barnum was at the bottom of the mischief. He managed 
in some mysterious manner to obtain a lot of blank telegraphic despatches and 
envelopes from one of the offices in this city, and then went to work and manufac 
tured astounding intelligence for most of the parties composing the Jenny Lind 
suite. Almost every person in the company received a telegraphic despatch 
written under the direction of Barnum. Mr. Barnum s daughter was in 
formed that her mother, her cousin, and several other relatives were waiting 
for her in Louisville, and various other important and extraordinary items of 
domestic intelligence were communicated to her. Mr. Le Grand Smith was told 
by a despatch from his father that his native village in Connecticut was in ashes, 
including his own homestead, etc. Several of Barnum s employees had most lib 
eral offers of engagements from banks and other institutions at the North. 
Burke, and others of the musical professors, were offered princely salaries by 
opera managers, and many of them received most tempting inducements to pro 
ceed immediately to the World s Fair in London. 

" One married gentleman in Mr. Barnum s suite received the gratifying intel 
ligence that he had for two days been the father of a pair of bouncing boys 
(mother and children doing well), an event which he had been anxiously looking 
for during the week, though on a somewhat more limited scale. In fact, nearly 
every person in the party engaged by Barnum received some extraordinary tele 
graphic intelligence, and as the great impressario managed to have the despatches 
delivered simultaneously, each recipient was for some time busily occupied with 
his own personal news. 

" By and by each began to tell his neighbor his good or bad tidings; and each 
was, of course, rejoiced or grieved according to circumstances. Several gave Mr. 

16* 



346 CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 

Barnum notice of their intention to leave him, in consequence of better offers; 
and a number of them sent off telegraphic despatches and letters by mail, in 
answer to those received. 

" The man who had so suddenly become the father of twins, telegraphed to his 
wife to be of good cheer, and that he would start for home to-morrow. At a 
late hour last night the secret had not got out, and we presinue that many of the 
victims will first learn from our columns that they have been taken in by BA- 
NUM and All Fools Day ! " 

From. Nashville, Jenny Lind and a few friends went 
by way of the Mammoth Cave to Louisville, while the 
rest of the party proceeded by steamboat. 

"While in Havana, I engaged Signor Salvi for a few 
months, to begin about the 10th of April. He joined 
us at Louisville, and sang in the three concerts there, 
with great satisfaction to the public. Mr. George D. 
Prentice, of the Louisville Journal, and his beautiful and 
accomplished lady, who had contributed much to the 
pleasure of Miss Lind and our party, accompanied us 
to Cincinnati. 

A citizen of Madison had applied to me on our first 
arrival in Louisville, for a concert in that place. I 
replied that the town was too small to afford it, where 
upon he offered to take the management of it into his 
own hands, and pay me $5,000 for the receipts. The 
last concert at Louisville, and the concerts at Natchez 
and Wheeling were given under a similar agreement, 
though with better pecuniary results than at Madison. 
As the steamer from Louisville to Cincinnati would 
arrive at Madison about sundown, and would wait long 
enough for us to give a concert, I agreed to his proposi 
tion. 

We were not a little surprised to learn upon arriving, 
that the concert must be given in a " pork house " a 
capacious shed which had been fitted up and decorated 
for the occasion. We concluded, however, that if the 



CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 347 

inhabitants were satisfied with the accommodations, we 
ought not to object. The person who had contracted 
for the concert came $1,300 short of his agreement, 
which I consequently lost, and at ten o clock we were 
again on board the fine steamer " Ben Franklin 77 bound 
for Cincinnati. 

The next morning the crowd upon the wharf was 
immense. I was fearful that an attempt to repeat the 
New Orleans ruse with my daughter would be of no 
avail, as the joke had been published in the Cincinnati 
papers ; so I gave my arm to Miss Lind, and begged 
her to have no fears, for I had hit upon an expedient 
which would save her from annoyance. We then 
descended the plank to the shore, and as soon as we 
had touched it, Le Grand Smith called out* from the 
boat, as if he had been one of the passengers, " That s 
no go, Mr. Barnum ; you can t pass your daughter off 
for Jenny Lind this time." 

The remark elicited a peal of merriment from the 
crowd, several persons calling out, " That won t do, 
Barnum ! you may fool the New Orleans folks, but you 
can t come it over the Buckeyes. We intend to stay 
here until you bring out Jenny Lind ! " They readily 
allowed me to pass with the lady whom they supposed 
to be my daughter, and in five minutes afterwards the 
Nightingale was complimenting Mr. Coleman upon the 
beautiful and commodious apartments which were 
devoted to her in the Burnett House. The crowd 
remained an hour on the wharf before they would 
be convinced that the person whom they took for 
my daughter was in fact the veritable Swede. When 
this was discovered, a general laugh followed the 
exclamation from one of the victims, " Well, Barnum 
has humbugged us after all ! " 



348 CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 

In passing up the river to Pittsburg, the boat waited 
four hours to enable us to give a concert in Wheeling. 
It was managed by a couple of gentlemen in that city, 
who purchased it for five thousand dollars in advance, 
by which they made a handsome profit for their trouble. 
The concert was given in a church. 

At Pittsburg, the open space surrounding the con 
cert room became crowded with thousands of persons, 
who, foolishly refusing to accommodate each other by 
listening to the music, disturbed the concert and deter 
mined us to leave the next morning for Baltimore, 
instead of giving a second concert that had been adver 
tised. 

Le Grand Smith here paid me off for my " April fool " 
joke. He, induced a female of his acquaintance to call 
on me and reveal an arrangement which she pretended 
accidentally to have overheard between some scoundrels, 
who were resolved to stop our stage coach on the Alle- 
ghany mountains and commit highway robbery. The 
story seemed incredible, and yet the woman related it 
with so much apparent sincerity, that I swallowed the 
bait, and remitting to New York all the money I had, 
except barely enough to defray our expenses to Balti 
more, I purchased several revolvers for such members 
of the company as were not already provided, and 
we left Pittsburg armed to the teeth ! Fortunately, 
Jenny Lind and several of the company had left before 
I made this grand discovery, and hence she was saved 
any apprehensions on the subject. It is needless to say 
we found no use for our firearms. 

We reached New York early in May, 1851, and gave 
fourteen concerts in Castle Garden and Metropolitan 
Hall. The last of these made the ninety-second regu- 



CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 349 

lar concert under our engagement. Jenny Lind had 
now again reached the atmosphere of her legal and 
other " advisers," and I soon discovered the effects of 
their influence. I, however, cared little what course 
they advised her to pursue. I indeed wished they 
would prevail upon her to close with her hundredth 
concert, for I had become weary with constant excite 
ment and unremitting exertions. I was confident that 
if she undertook to give concerts on her own account, 
she would be imposed upon and harassed in a thousand 
ways ; yet I felt it would be well for her to have a trial 
at it, if she saw fit to credit her advisers 7 assurance that 
I had not managed the enterprise as successfully as it 
might have been done. 

At about the eighty-fifth concert, therefore, I was 
most happy to learn from her lips that she had concluded 
to pay the forfeiture of twenty-five thousand dollars, and 
terminate the concerts with the one hundredth. 

We went to Philadelphia, where I had advertised the 
ninety-second, ninety-third, and ninety-fourth concerts, 
and had engaged the large National Theatre on Chest 
nut Street. It had been used for equestrian and theatri 
cal entertainments, but was now thoroughly cleansed 
and fitted up by Max Maretzek for Italian opera. It 
was a convenient place for our purpose. One of her 
" advisers," a subordinate in her employ, who was 
already itching for the position of manager, made the 
selection of this building a pretext for creating dissatis 
faction in the mind of Miss Lind. I saw the influences 
which were at work, and not caring enough for the 
profits of the remaining seven concerts, to continue the 
engagement at the risk ol disturbing the friendly feel 
ings which had hitherto uninterruptedly existed between 



350 CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 

that lady and myself, I wrote her a letter offering to 
relinquish the engagement, if she desired it, at the ter 
mination of the concert which was to take place that 
evening, upon her simply allowing me a thousand dol 
lars per concert for the seven which would yet remain 
to make up the hundred, besides paying me the sum 
stipulated as a forfeiture for closing the engagement at 
the one-hundredth concert. Towards evening I received 
the following reply : 

" To P. T. BAENUM, ESQ. 

"MY DEAR SIB: I accept your proposition to close our contract to-night, at 
the end of the ninety-third concert, on condition of my paying you seven thou 
sand dollars, in addition to the sum I forfeit under the condition of finishing the 
engagement at the end of one hundred concerts. 

"I am, dear Sir, yours truly, 

"JENNY LIND. 
"PHILADELPHIA, 9th of June, 1851." 

I met her at the concert in the evening, and she was 
polite and friendly as ever. Between the first and 
second parts of the concert, I introduced General 
Welch, the lessee of the National Theatre, who informed 
her that he was quite willing to release me from my 
engagement of the building, if she did not desire it 
longer. She replied, that upon trial, she found it much 
better than she expected, and she would therefore retain 
it for the remainder of the concerts. 

In the mean time, her advisers had been circulating 
the story that I had compelled her to sing in an im 
proper place, and when they heard she had concluded to 
remain there, they beset her with arguments against it, 
until at last she consented to remove her concerts to a 
smaller hall. 

I had thoroughly advertised the three concerts, in the 
newspapers within a radius of one hundred miles from 
Philadelphia, and had sent admission tickets to the edit- 



CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 351 

ors. On the day of the second concert, one of the new 
agents, who had indirectly aided in bringing about the 
dissolution of our engagement, refused to recognize 
these tickets, I urged upon him the injustice of such a 
course, but received no satisfaction. I then stated the 
fact to Miss Lind, and she gave immediate orders that 
these tickets should be received. Country editors tick 
ets, which were offered after I left Philadelphia, were 
however refused by her agents (contrary to Miss Lind s 
wish and knowledge), and the editors, having come from 
a distance with their wives, purchased tickets, and I 
subsequently remitted the money to numerous gentle 
men, whose complimentary tickets were thus repudiated. 

Jenny Lind gave several concerts with varied success, 
and then retired to Niagara Falls, and afterwards to 
Northampton, Massachusetts. While sojourning at the 
latter place, she visited Boston and was married to Mr. 
Otto Goldschmidt, a German composer and pianist, to 
whom she was much attached, and who had studied 
music with her in Germany. He played several times 
in our concerts. He was a very quiet, inoffensive gen 
tleman, and an accomplished musician. 

I met her several times after our engagement termi 
nated. She was always affable. On one occasion, 
w r hile passing through Bridgeport, she told me that she 
had been sadly harassed in giving her concerts. " Peo 
ple cheat me and swindle me very much," said she, 
" and I find it very annoying to give concerts on my own 
account." 

I was always supplied with conrplimentary tickets 
when she gave concerts in New York, and on the occa 
sion of her last appearance in America, I visited her in 
her room back of the stage, and bade her and her 



352 CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN". 

husband adieu, with my best wishes. She expressed 
the same feeling to uie in return. She told me she 
should never sing much, if any more, in public ; but I 
reminded her that a good Providence had endowed her 
with a voice which enabled her to contribute in an em 
inent degree to the enjoyment of her fellow beings, 
and if she no longer needed the large sums of money 
which they were willing to pay for this elevating and 
delightful entertainment, she knew by experience what 
a genuine pleasure she would receive by devoting the 
money to the alleviation, of the wants and sorrows of 
those who needed it. 

u Ah! Mr. Barnuin," she replied, u that is very true, 
and it would be ungrateful in me to not continue to use 
for the benefit of the poor and lowly, that gift which 
our kind Heavenly Father has so graciously bestowed 
upon me. Yes, I will continue to sing so long as my 
voice lasts, but it will be mostly for charitable objects, 
for I am thankful tg say I have all the money which I 
shall ever need." Pursuant to this resolution, the 
larger portion of the concerts which this noble lady 
has given since her return to Europe, have been foi 
objects of benevolence. [frier 

If she consents to sing for a charitable object hi 
London, for instance, the fact is not advertised at all, 
but the tickets are readily disposed of in a private quiet 
way, at a guinea and half a guinea each. 

After so many months of anxiety, labor and excite 
ment, in the Jenny Lind enterprise, it will readily be 
believed that I desired tranquility. I spent a week at 
Cape May, and then came home to Iranistan, where I 
remained during the entire summer. 



CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 



353 



JENNY LIND CONCERTS. 

TOTAL RECEIPTS, EXCEPTING OF CONCERTS DEVOTED TO CHARITY. 






New York, 


$17,864 05 No. 46. 
14,203 03 47. 


Havana, 

New Orleans, 








48. 


i 


No. 1. 


14 


12,519 59 


49. 





2. 


II 


14,266 09 


50. 


. 


a 


II 


12,174 74 


51. 


. 


4. 


" 


16,028 39 


52. 


. 


5. 


Boston, . 


16,479 50 


53. 




6. 


. 


11,848 62 


54. 


; 


7. 


" 


8,639 92 


55. 


s- 


8. 


" 


10,169 25 


56. 


i 


9. 


Providence, 


6,525 54 


57. 


, 


10. 


Boston, . 


10,524 87 


58. 


i 


11. 


" 


5,240 00 


59. 


Natchez, 


12. 
13. 


a 
Philadelphia, . 


7,586 00 
9,291 25 


60. 
61. 


Memphis, 

St. Louis, 


14. 





7,547 00 


62. 


- ( y 


15. 





8,458 65 


63. 


II 


16. 


New York, 


6,415 90 


64. 


14 


17. 




f 


4,009 70 


65. 


II 


18. 




t 


5,982 00 


66. 


Nashville, 


19. 




t 


8,007 10 


67. 


" , -. 


20. 




t 


6,334 20 


68. 


Louisville, 


21. 




. 


9,429 15 


69. 


H 


22. 




. . 


9,912 17 


70. 


. 


23. 




. . 


5,773 40 


71. 


Madison, 


24. 




. 


4,993 50 


72. 


Cincinnati, . 


25. 




. 


6,670 15 


73. 


" 


26. 




. 


9,840 33 


74. 


" 


27. 




, 


7,097 15 


75. 


. 


28. 




. 


8,263 30 


76. 


" 


29 




, . 


10,570 25 


77. 


Wheeling, . 


30! 




. . 


10,646 45 


78. 


Pittsburg, 


31. 


Phil 


delphia, . 


5,480 75 


79. 


New York, . 


32. 




. 


5,728 65 


80. 


i - f 


33. 




, 


3,709 88 


81. 


t 


34. 






4,815 48 


82. 


9 


36. 


Bait 


more, 


7,117 00 


83. 


Y 


36. 




, 


8,357 05 


84. 


. 


37. 







8,406 50 


85. 


* 


38. 






8,121 33 


86. 


t 


39. 


Washington City, 


6,878 55 


87. 


* 


40. 


. 


8,507 05 


88. 


.. 


41. 


Richmond, 


12,385 21 


89. 


i 


42. 


Charleston, 


6,775 00 


90. 


( 


43. 


, 


3,653 75 


91. 


t 


44. 


Havana, . 


4,666 17 


92. 


t 


45 


" 


2,837 92 


93. 


Philadelphia, 



95 

12,599 85 
10,210 42 
8,131 15 
6,019 85 
6,644 00 
9,720 80 
7,545 50 
6,053 50 
4,850 25 
4,495 35 
6,630 35 
4,745 10 
5,000 00 
4,539 56 
7,811 85 
7,961 92 
7,708 70 

4.086 50 
3,044 70 
7,786 30 
4,248 00 
7,833 90 
6,595 60 
5,000 00 
3,693 25 
9,339 75 

11,001 50 
8,446 30 
8,954 18 
6,500 40 
5,000 00 
7,210 58 
6,858 42 
5,453 00 
5,463 70 
7,378 35 
7,179 27 
6,641 00 
6,917 13 
6,f42 04 
3,738 75 
4,335 28 
5,339 23 

4.087 03 
5,717 00 
9,525 80 
3,852 75 



CHARITY CONCERTS. Of Miss Lind s half receipts of the first two Concerts, 
she devoted $10,000 to charity in New York. She afterwards gave Charity 
Concerts in Boston, Baltimore, Charleston, Havana, New Orleans, New York, 
and Philadelphia, and donated large sums for the like purposes in Richmond, 
Cincinnati, and elsewhere. Thfire were also several Benefit Concerts, for the 
Orchestra, Le Grand Smith, and other persons and objects. 



354 



CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN. 



[RECAPITULATION. 



NEW YORK . . 35 CONCERTS. 

PHILADELPHIA 8 

BOSTON . . . 

PROVIDENCE . 

BALTIMORE . . 

WASHINGTON . 

RICHMOND . . 

CHARLESTON . 

HAVANA . . 

NEW ORLEANS 

NATCHEZ . . 

MEMPHIS . . 

ST. Louis . . 

NASHVILLE 

LOUISVILLE 



MADISON 

CINCINNATI 
WHEELING 
PITTSBURG 



RECEIPTS, $280,210 04 


AVERAGE, $8,177 50 




48,884 41 




0,110 55 




70,388 16 




10,055 45 




6,525 54 




0.525 54 




32,101 88 




8,000 47 




15,385 60 




7,092 80 




12,385 21 




12,385 21 




10,428 75 




5,214 37 




10,430 04 




3,478 08 




87,040 12 




7,303 84 




5,000 00 




5,000 00 




4,539 50 




4,539 50 




30,013 07 




0,122 73 




12,034 30 




6,017 15 




19,429 50 




6,476 50 




3,093 25 




3,693 25 




44,242 13 




8,848 43 




5,000 00 




5,000 00 




7,210 58 




7,210 58 



TOTAL . . 95 CONCERTS. RECEIPTS, $712,101 34 AVERAGE, $7,496 43 



JENNY LIND S RECEIPTS. 



$712,161 34 



32,007 08 



From the Total Receipts of Ninety-five Concerts . 

Deduct the receipts of the first two, which, as between 
P. T. Barnum and Jenny Lind, were aside from the 
contract, and are not numbered in the Table . . . 

Total Receipts of Concerts from No. 1 to No. 93 . $680,094 26 
Deduct the receipts of the 28 Concerts, each 

of which fell short of $5,500 .... $123,311 15 
Also deduct $5,500 for each of the remaining 

65 Concerts 357,500 00 480,811 15 



Leaving the total excess, as above . . . 
Being equally divided, Miss Lind s portion was 
I paid her $1,000 for each of the 93- Concerts . . 
Also one half the receipts of the first two Concerts 



$199,283 11 



Amount paid to Jenny Lind 

She refunded to me as forfeiture, per contract, in case 

she withdrew after the 100th Concert $25,000 

She also paid me $1,000 each for the seven Concerts 

relinquished 7,000 



JENNY LIND S net avails of 95 Concerts 

P. T. BARNUM s gross receipts, after paying Miss Lind 



$99,641 55 
93,000 00 
10,033 54 

$208,075 09 



32,000 00 

$170,675 09 
535,486 25 



TOTAL RECEIPTS of 95 Concerts $712,161 34 



PRICE OF TICKETS. The highest prices paid for tickets were at auction as 
follows: John N. Genin, in New York, $225; Ossian- E. Dodge, .in Boston, 
$625 ; Col. William C. Ross, in Providence, $650 ; M. A. Root, in Philadelphia, 
$025 ; Mr. D Arcy, in New Orleans, $240 ; a keeper of a refreshment saloon in 
St. Louis, $150 ; a Daguerrotypist, in Baltimore, $100. I cannot now recall the 
names of the last two. After the sale of the first ticket, the premium usually 
fell to $20, and so downward in the scale of figures. The fixed price of tickets 
ranged from $7 to $3. Promenade tickets were from $2 to $1 each. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

ANOTHER YENTURE "BARNUM S GREAT ASIATIC CARAVAN, MUSEUM AND 
MENAGERIE " HUNTING ELEPHANTS GENERAL TOM THUMB ELEPHANT 
PLOWING IN CONNECTICUT CURIOUS QUESTIONS FROM ALL QUARTERS 
THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN MY NOVEL FARMING HOW MUCH AN ELEPHANT 
CAN REALLY "DRAW " COMMODORE VANDERBELT DAN DREW SIDE SHOWS 
AND VARIOUS ENTERPRISES OBSEQUIES OF NAPOLEON THE CRYSTAL 
PALACE CAMP ANALOG I ANS AMERICAN INDIANS IN LONDON AUTOMATON 
SPEAKER THE DUKB OF WELLINGTON ATTEMPT TO BUY SHAKESPEARE S 
HOUSE DISSOLVING VIEWS THE CHINESE COLLECTION WONDERFUL 
SCOTCH BOYS SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF DOUBLE SIGHT THE BATEMAN 
CHILDREN CATHERINE HAYES IRANI8TAN ON FIRE MY ELDEST DAUGH 
TER S MARRIAGE BENEFITS FOR THE BRIDGEPORT LIBRARY AND THE MOUN 
TAIN GROVE CEMETERY. 

WHILE I was managing the Lind concerts, in addition 
to the American Museum I had other business matters 
in operation which were more than enough to engross 
my entire attention and which, of course, I was com 
pelled to commit to the hands of associates and agents. 

In 1849 I had projected a great travelling museum 
and menagerie, and, as I had neither time nor inclina 
tion to manage such a concern, I induced Mr. Seth B. 
Howes, justly celebrated as a " showman," to join me, 
and take the sole charge. Mr. Sherwood E. Stratton, 
father of General Tom Thumb, was also admitted to 
partnership, the interest being in thirds. 

In carrying out a portion of the plan, we chartered 
the ship " Eegatta," Captain Pratt, and despatched her, 
together with our agents, Messrs. June and Nutter, 
to Ceylon. The ship left New York in May, 1850, 
and was absent one year. Their mission was to pro- 



356 OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

cure, either by capture or purchase, twelve or more 
living elephants, besides such other wild animals as 
they could secure. In order to provide sufficient drink 
and provender for a cargo of these huge animals, we 
purchased a large quantity of hay in New York. Five 
hundred tons were left at the Island of St. Helena, 
to be taken on the return trip of the ship, and staves 
and hoops of water-casks were also left at the same 
place. 

As our agents were unable to purchase the required 
number of elephants, either in Columbo or Kandy, the 
principal towns of the island, (Ceylon,) they took one 
hundred and sixty native assistants, and plunged into 
the jungles, where, after many most exciting adven 
tures, they succeeded in securing thirteen elephants 
of a suitable size for their purpose, with a female and 
her calf, or "baby" elephant, only six months old. In 
the course of the expedition, Messrs. Nutter and June 
killed large numbers of the huge beasts, and had 
numerous encounters of the most terrific description 
with the formidable animals, one of the most fearful 
of which took place near Anarajah Poora, while they 
were endeavoring, by the aid of the natives and 
trained elephants, to drive the wild herd of beasts into 
an Indian kraal. 

They arrived in New York in 1851 with ten of the 
elephants, and these, harnessed in pairs to a chariot, 
paraded up Broadway past the Irving House, while 
Jenny Lind was staying at that hotel, on the occasion 
of her second visit to New York. Messrs. Nutter and 
June also brought with the elephants a native who was 
competent to manage and control them. We added a 
caravan of wild animals and many museum curiosities, 



OTHER ENTERPRISES. 357 

the entire outfit, including horses, vans, carriages, tent, 
etc., costing $109,000, and commenced operations, with 
the presence and under the " patronage " of General 
Tom Thumb, who travelled nearly four years as one 
of the attractions of " Barnum s Great Asiatic Caravan, 
Museum and Menagerie," returning us immense profits. 

At the end of that time, after exhibiting in all sec 
tions of the country, we sold out the entire establish 
ment animals, cages, chariots and paraphernalia, 
excepting one elephant, which I retained in my own 
possession two months for agricultural purposes. It 
occurred to me that if I could put an elephant to plow 
ing for a while on my farm at Bridgeport, it would be a 
capital advertisement for the American Museum, which 
was then, and always during my proprietorship of that 
establishment, foremost in my thoughts. 

So I sent him to Connecticut in charge of his keeper, 
whom I dressed in Oriental costume, and keeper and 
elephant were stationed on a six-acre lot which lay close 
beside the track of the New York and New Haven 
Railroad. The keeper was furnished with a time-table 
of the road, with special instructions to be busily 
engaged in his work whenever passenger trains from 
either way were passing through. Of course, the matter 
soon appeared in the papers and went the entire rounds of 
the press in this country and even in Europe, and it was 
everywhere announced that P. T. Barnum, " Proprietor 
of the celebrated American Museum in New York " 
and here is where the advertisement came in had 
introduced elephants upon his farm, to do his plowing 
and heavy draft work. Hundreds of people came many 
miles to witness the novel spectacle. Letters poured in 
upon me from the secretaries of hundreds of State and 



358 OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

\ 

County agricultural societies throughout the Union, stat 
ing that the presidents and directors of such societies 
had requested them to propound to me a series of ques 
tions in regard to the new power I had put in operation 
on my farm. These questions were greatly diversified, 
but the "general run" of them were something like 
the following : 

1. "Is the elephant a profitable agricultural animal] " 

2. " How much can an elephant plow in a day I " 

3. " How much can he draw ? " 

4. " How much does he eat 1 ?" this question was 
invariably asked, and was a very important one. 

5. " Will elephants make themselves generally useful 
on a farm I " I suppose some of my inquirers thought 
the elephant would pick up chips, or even pins as they 
have been taught to do, and would rock the baby and 
do all the chores, including the occasional carrying of a 
trunk, other than his own, to the depot. 

6. " What is the price of an elephant] " 

7. " Where can elephants be purchased?" 

Then would follow a score of other inquiries, such as, 
whether elephants were easily managed ; if they would 
quarrel with cattle ; if it was possible to breed them ; 
how old calf elephants must be before they would earn 
their own living ; and so on indefinitely. I began to be 
alarmed lest some one should buy an elephant, and so 
share the fate of the man who drew one in a lottery, and 
did not know what to do with him. I accordingly had 
a general letter printed, which I mailed to all my anx 
ious inquirers. It was headed " strictly confidential," 
and I then stated, begging my correspondents " not to 
mention it," that to me the elephant was a valuable 
agricultural animal, because he was an excellent adver* 



OTHER ENTERPRISES. 359 

tisement to my Museum ; but that to other farmers he 
would prove very unprofitable for many reasons. In 
the first place, such an animal would cost from $3,000 
to $10,000 ; in cold weather he could not work at all ; 
in any weather he could not earn even half his living ; 
he would eat up the value of his own head, trunk, and 
body every year ; and I begged my correspondents not 
to do so foolish a thing as to undertake elephant farming. 
Newspaper reporters came from far and near, and 
wrote glowing accounts of the elephantine perform 
ances. One of them, taking a political view of the mat 
ter, stated that the elephant s sagacity showed that he 
knew more than did any laborer on the farm, and yet, 
shameful to say, he was not allowed to vote. Another 
said that Bamum s elephant built all the stone wall on 
the farm ; made all the rail fences ; planted corn with his 
trunk, and covered it with his foot ; washed my windows 
and sprinkled the walks and lawns, by taking water 
from the fountain-basin with his trunk; carried all the 
children to school, and put them to bed at night, tuck 
ing them up with his trunk ; fed the pigs ; picked fruit 
from branches that could not otherwise be reached ;, 
turned the fanning mill and corn-sheller ; drew the 
mowing machine, and turned and cocked the hay with 
his trunk ; carried and brought my letters to and from 
the post-office (it was a male elephant) ; and did all the 
chores about the house, including milking the cows, and 
bringing in eggs. Pictures of Barnum s plowing ele 
phant appeared in illustrated papers at home and 
abroad, and as the cars passed the scene of the perform 
ance, passengers heads were out of every window, and 
among many and varied exclamations, I heard of one 
man s saying: 

17 



360 * OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

"Well, I declare ! That is certainly a real elephant 
and any man who has so many elephants that he can 
afford to work them on his farm, must have lots of wild 
animals and curious critters in his Museum, and I am 
bound to go there the first thing after my arrival in New 
York." 

The six acres were plowed over at least sixty times 
before I thought the advertisement sufficiently circulated, 
and I then sold the elephant to Van Amburgh s Mena 
gerie. 

A substantial farmer friend of mine, Mr. Gideon 
Thompson, called at Iranistan during the elephant excite 
ment and asked me to accompany him to the field to let 
him see " how the big animal worked." I knew him to 
be a shrewd, sharp man and a good farmer, and I tried 
to excuse myself, as I did not wish to be too closely 
questioned. Indeed, for the same reason, I made it a 
point at all times to avoid being present when the plow 
ing was going on. But the old farmer was a particular 
friend and he refused to take " no " for an answer ; so 
I went with him " to see the elephant." 

Arriving at the field, Mr. Thompson said nothing, but 
stood with folded arms and sedately watched the ele 
phant for at least fifteen minutes. Then he walked out 
on to the plowed ground, and found it so mellow that he 
sank nearly up to his knees ; for it had already been 
plowed over and over many times. As usual, several 
spectators were present. Mr. Thompson walked up to 
where I was standing, and, looking me squarely in the 
eyes, he asked with much earnestness : 

" What is your object, sir, in bringing that great Asi* 
atic animal on to a New England farm ? " 

" To plow," I replied very demurely. 



OTHER ENTERPRISES. 361 

" To plow ! " said Thompson ; " do n t talk to me 
about plowing ! I have been out where he has plowed, 
and the ground is so soft I thought I should go through, 
and come out in China. No, sir ! You can t humbug 
me. You have got some other object in bringing that 
elephant up here ; now what is it ? " 

" Do n t you see for yourself that I am plowing with 
him V I asked. 

" Nonsense," said Thompson " that would never pay ; 
I have no doubt he eats more than he earns every day ; 
you have some other purpose in view, I am sure you 
have." 

" Perhaps he does not eat so much as you think," I 
replied ; " and you see he draws nobly in fact, I 
expect he will be just the animal by and by, to draw 
saw logs to mill, and do other heavy work." 

But Uncle Gid., was not to be put aside so easily 
so he asked very sharply : 

" How much does he eat in a day I " 

" Oh," I replied carelessly, " not more than a quarter 
of a ton of hay and three or four bushels of oats." 

" Exactly," said Thompson, his eyes glistening with 
delight ; " that is just about what I expected. He 
can t draw so much as two pair of my oxen can, and he 
costs more than a dozen pair." 

" You are mistaken, friend Thompson," I replied 
with much gravity ; "that elephant is a powerful 
animal ; he can draw more than forty yoke of oxen, 
and he pays me well for bringing him here." 

" Forty yoke of oxen !" contemptuously replied the 
old farmer ; " I do n t want to tell you I doubt your 
word, but I would just like to know what he can 
draw. 7 



362 OTHER "ENTERPRISES. 

" He can draw the attention of twenty millions of 
American citizens to Barnum s Museum," I replied. 

" Oh, you can make him pay in that way, of course," 
responded the old farmer. 

" None but a greenhorn could ever have expected he 
would pay in any other way," I replied. 

The old man gave a hearty laugh, and said, " Well, I 
give it up. I have been a farmer thirty-five years, and 
I have only just discovered that an elephant is a very 
useful and profitable animal on a farm provided the 
farmer also owns a museum." 

In 1851 I became a part owner of the steamship 
"North America." Our intention in buying it was to 
run it to Ireland as a passenger and freight ship. The 
project was, however, abandoned, and Commodore Cor 
nelius Vanderbilt bought one half of the steamer, while 
the other half was owned by three persons, of whom 
I was one. The steamer was sent around Cape Horn 
to San Francisco, and was put into the Vanderbilt line. 

After she had made several trips I called upon Mr. 
Vanderbilt, at his office, and introduced myself, as this 
was the first time we had met. 

" Is it possible you are Barnum ? " exclaimed the 
Commodore, in surprise, " why, I expected to see a 
monster, part lion, part elephant, and a mixture of 
rhinoceros and tiger ! Is it possible," he continued, 
" that you are the showman who has made so much 
noise in the world V 

I laughingly replied that I was, and added that if I too 
had been governed in my anticipation of his personal 
appearance by the fame he had achieved in his line, I 
should have expected to have been saluted by a steam 
whistle, and to have seen him dressed in a pea jacket, 



OTHER ENTERPRISES. 363 

blowing off steam, and crying out " all aboard that s 
going." 

" Instead of which," replied Mr. Vanderbilt, " I sup 
pose you have come to ask me, to walk up to the 
Captain s office and settle. 

After this interchange of civilities, we talked about 
the success of the "North America" in having got 
safely around the Horn, and of the acceptable manner 
in which she was doing her duty on the Pacific side. 

" We have received no statement of her earnings 
yet," said the Commodore, " but if you want money, 
give your receipt to our treasurer, and take some." 

A few months subsequent to this, I sold out my share 
in the steamship to Mr. Daniel Drew. The day after 
closing with Mr. Drew, I discovered an error of several 
hundred dollars (a matter of interest on some portion of 
the purchase money, which had been overlooked). I 
called on Mr. Drew, and asked him to correct it, but 
could get no satisfaction. I then wrote him a threaten 
ing letter, but received no response. I was on the eve 
of suing him for the amount due me, when the news 
came that the steamship " North America " was lying 
at the bottom of the Pacific. It turned out that she 
was sunk several days before I sold out, and as the 
owners were mulcted in the sum of many thousands of 
dollars damages by their passengers, besides suffering 
a great loss in their steamship, I said no more to the 
millionnaire Drew about the few hundreds which he had 
withheld from the showman. 

Some reference to the various enterprises and " side 
shows" connected with and disconnected from my 
Museum, is necessary to show how industriously I have 
catered for the public s amusement, not only in America 



864 OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

but abroad. When I was in Paris in 1844, in addition 
to the purchase of Robert Houdin s ingenious automa 
ton writer, and many other costly curiosities for the 
Museum, I ordered, at an expense of $3,000, a pano 
ramic diorama of the obsequies of Napoleon. Every 
event of that grand pageant, from the embarkation of the 
body at St. Helena, to its entombment at the Hotel des 
Invalides, amid the most gorgeous parade ever witnessed 
in France, was wonderfully depicted. This exhibition, 
after having had its day at the American Museum, was 
sold, and extensively and profitably exhibited else 
where. While I was in London, during the same year, I 
engaged a company of " Campanalogians, or Lancashire 
Bell Ringers," then performing in Ireland, to make an 
American tour. They were really admirable perform 
ers, and by means of their numerous bells, of various 
sizes, they produced the most delightful music. Tljey 
attracted much attention in various parts of the United 
States, in Canada, and in Cuba. 

As a compensation to England for the loss of the Bell 
Ringers, I despatched an agent to America for a party 
of Indians, including squaws. He proceeded to Iowa, 
and returned to London with a company of sixteen. 
They were exhibited by Mr. Catlin on our joint account, 
and were finally left in his sole charge. 

On my first return visit to America from Europe, I 
engaged Mr. Faber, an elderly and ingenious German, 
who had constructed an automaton speaker. It was of 
life-size, and when worked with keys similar to those 
of a piano, it really articulated words and sentences 
with surprising distinctness. My agent exhibited it for 
several months in Egyptian Hall, London, and also in 
the provinces. This was a marvellous piece of median- 



OTHER ENTERPRISES. 365 

ism, though for some unaccountable reason it did not 
prove a success. The Duke of Wellington visited it 
several times, and at first he thought that the "voice" 
proceeded from the exhibitor, whom he assumed to be 
a skillful ventriloquist. He was asked to touch the keys 
with his own fingers, and after some instruction in the 
method of operating, he was able to make the machine 
speak, not only in English but also in German, with 
which language the Duke seemed familiar. Thereafter, 
he entered his name on the exhibitor s autograph book, 
and certified that the " Automaton Speaker" was an 
extraordinary production of mechanical genius. 

During my first visit to England I obtained, verbally, 
through a friend, the refusal of the house in which 
Shakespeare was born, designing to remove it in sections 
to my Museum in New York ; but the project leaked out, 
British pride was touched, and several English gentle 
men interfered and purchased the premises for a Shakes 
pearian Association. Had they slept a few days longer, 
I should have made a rare speculation, for I was subse 
quently assured that the British people, rather than suf 
fer that house to be removed to America, would have 
bought me off with twenty thousand pounds. I did not 
hesitate to engage, or attempt to secure anything, at 
any expense, to please my patrons in the United States, 
and I made an effort to transfer Madame Tussaud s 
world-wide celebrated wax- work collection entire to New 
York. The papers were actually drawn up for this 
engagement, but the enterprise finally fell through. 

The models of machinery exhibited in the Royal Poly 
technic Institution in London, pleased me so well that 
I procured a duplicate ; also duplicates of the " Dissolv 
ing Views," the Chromatrope and Physioscope, includ- 



366 OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

ing many American scenes painted expressly to my 
order, at an aggregate cost of $7,000. After they had 
been exhibited in my Museum, they were sold to itiner 
ant showmen, and some of them were afterwards on 
exhibition in various parts of the United States. 

In June 1850, I added the celebrated Chinese Collec 
tion to the attractions of the American Museum, I also 
engaged the Chinese Family, consisting of two men, 
two " small-footed " women and two children. My agent 
exhibited them in London during the World s Fair. 
It may be stated here, that I subsequently sent to Lon 
don the celebrated artist De Lamano to paint a pano 
rama of the Crystal Palace, in which the World s Fail- 
was held, and Colonel John S, Dusolle, an able and 
accomplished editor, whom I sent with De Lamano, 
wrote an accompanying descriptive lecture. Like most 
panoramas, however, the exhibition proved a failure. 

The giants whom I sent to America were not the 
greatest of my curiosities, though the dwarfs might have 
been the least. The " Scotch Boys " were interesting, 
not so much on account of their weight, as for the mys 
terious method by which one of them, though blind 
folded, answered questions put by the other respecting 
objects presented by persons who attended the surpris 
ing exhibition. The mystery, which was merely the 
result of patient practice, consisted wholly in the man 
ner in which the question was propounded ; in fact, the 
question invariably carried its own answer ; for instance : 

" What is this I " meant gold ; " Now what is this I " 
silver ; " Say what is this I " copper ; " Tell me what 
this is," iron ; " What is the shape I " long ; " Now what 
shape I " round ; " Say what shape," square ; " Please say 
what this is," a watch ; " Can you tell what is in this 



OTHER ENTERPRISES. 367 

lady s hand ? " a purse ; " Now please say what this is ] " 
a key ; " Come now, what is this ? " money ; " How 
much?" a penny ; " Now how much ? " sixpence ; " Say 
how much," a quarter of a dollar ; " What color is this I " 
black; "Now what color is this?" red; "Say what 
color," green ; and so on, ad inftnitum. To such per 
fection was this brought that it was almost impossible 
to present any object that could not be quite closely 
described by the blindfolded boy. This is the key to all 
exhibitions of what is called " second sight." 

In 1850, the celebrated Bateman children acted for 
several weeks at the American Museum and in June of 
that year I sent them to London with their father and 
Mr. Le Grand Smith, where they played in the St. James 
Theatre, and afterwards in the principal provincial thea 
tres. The elder of these children, Miss Kate Bateman, 
subsequently attained the highest histrionic distinction in 
America and abroad, and reached the very head of her 
profession. 

In October, 1852, having stipulated with Mr. George 
A. Wells and Mr. Bushnell that they should share in the 
enterprise and take the entire charge, I engaged Miss 
Catherine Hayes and Herr Begnis to give a series of 
sixty concerts in California, and the engagement was ful 
filled to our entire satisfaction. Mr. Bushnell after 
wards went to Australia with Miss Hayes and they were 
subsequently married. Both of them are dead. 

Before setting out for California, Miss Catherine 
Hayes, her mother and sister spent several days at Iran- 
istan and were present at the marriage of my eldest 
daughter, Caroline, to Mr. David W. Thompson. The 
wedding was to take place in the evening, and in the 
afternoon I was getting shaved in a barber-shop in 



368 OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

Bridgeport, when Mr. Thompson drove up to the door 
in great haste and exclaimed : 

" Mr. Barnum, Iranistan is in flames ! " 

I ran out half-shaved, with the lather on my face, 
jumped into his wagon and bade him drive home with 
all speed. I was greatly alarmed, for the house was 
full of visitors who had come from a distance to attend 
the wedding, and all the costly presents, dresses, refresh 
ments, and everything prepared for a marriage celebra 
tion to which nearly a thousand guests had been invited, 
were already in my house. Mr. Thompson told me that 
he had seen the flames bursting from the roof and it 
seemed to me that there was little hope of saving the 
building. 

My mind was distressed, not so much at the great 
pecuniary loss which the destruction of Iranistan would 
involve as at the possibility that some of my family or 
visitors would be killed or seriously injured in attempt 
ing to save something from the fire. Then I thought of 
the sore disappointment this calamity would cause to the 
young couple, as well as to those who were invited to 
the wedding. I saw that Mr, Thompson looked pale 
and anxious. 

" Never mind!" said I ; "we can t help these things ; 
the house will probably be burned ; but if no one is 
killed or injured, you shall be married to-night, if we 
are obliged to perform the cersmony in the coach 
house." 

On our way, we overtook a fire-company and I 
implored them to " hurry up their machine." Arriving 
in sight of Iranistan we saw huge volumes of smoke 
rolling out from the roof and many men on the top 
of the house were passing buckets of water to pour 




MO uwrtiiw GIIO YE CE METER r. 



OTHER ENTERPRISES. 369 

upon the fire. Fortunately, several men had been en 
gaged during the day in repairing the roof, and their lad 
ders were against the house. By these means and with 
the assistance of the men employed upon my grounds, 
water was passed very rapidly and the flames were 
soon subdued- without serious damage. The inmates of 
Iranistan were thoroughly frightened ; Catherine Hayes 
and other visitors packed their trunks and had them 
carried out on the lawn ; and the house came as near 
destruction as it well could, and escape. 

While Miss Hayes was in Bridgeport I induced her 
to give a concert for the benefit of the " Mountain 
Grove Cemetery," and the large proceeds were devoted 
to the erection of the beautiful stone tower and gate 
way at the entrance of that charming ground. The 
land for this cemetery, about eighty acres, had been 
bought by me, years before, from several farmers. I 
had often shot over the ground while hunting a year 
or two before, and had then seen its admirable capabili 
ties for the purpose to which it was eventually devoted. 
After deeds for the property were secured, it was 
offered for a cemetery, and at a meeting of citizens 
several lots were subscribed for, enough, indeed, to 
cover the amount of the purchase money. Thus was 
begun the " Mountain Grove Cemetery," which is now 
beautifully laid out and adorned with many tasteful 
and costly monuments. Among these are my own sub- 
stantial granite monument, the family monuments of 
Harral, Bishop, Hubbell, Lyon, Wood, Loomis, Wor- 
din, Hyde, and others, and General Tom Thumb has 
erected a tall marble shaft which is surmounted by 
a life-size statue of himself. There is no more charm 
ing burial ground in the whole country ; yet when the 



370 OTHER ENTERPRISES. 

project was suggested, many persons preferred an inter- 
mural cemetery to this rural resting-place for their 
departed friends ; though now, all concur in considering 
it fortunate that this adjunct was secured to Bridgeport 
before the land could be permanently devoted to other 
purposes. 

Some time afterwards, when Mr. Dion Boucicault vis- 
ited me at Bridgeport, at my solicitation he gave a lec 
ture for the benefit of this cemetery. I may add that on 
several occasions I have secured the services of General 
Tom Thumb and others for this and equally worthy 
objects in Bridgeport. When the General first returned 
with me from England, he gave exhibitions for the ben 
efit of the Bridgeport Charitable Society. September 
28, 1867, I induced him and his wife, with Commodore 
Nutt and Minnie Warren to give their entertainment 
for the benefit of the Bridgeport Library, thus adding 
$475 to the funds of that institution ; and on one occa 
sion I lectured to a full house in the Methodist Church, 
and the entire receipts were given to the library, of 
which I was already a life member, on account of pre 
vious subscriptions and contributions. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

WORK AND PLAY. 

ALFRED BUNN, OF DRURY LANE THEATRE AMUSING INTERVIEW MR. LEVY, 
OF THE LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH VACATIONS AT HOME MY PRESIDENCY 
OF THE FAIRFIELD COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY EXHIBITING A PICK 
POCKET PHILOSOPHY OF HUMBUG A CHOP-FALLEN TICKET-SELLER A 
PROMPT PAYMASTER BARNUM IN BOSTON A DELUDED HACK DRIVER 
PHILLIPS S FIRE ANNLHILATOR HONORABLE ELISHA WHITTLESEY TRIAL 
OF THE ANNIHILATOR IN NEW YORK PEQUONNOCK BANK OF BRIDGEPORT 
THE ILLUSTRATED NEWS THE WORLD S FAIR IN NEW YORK MY PRES 
IDENCY OF THE ASSOCIATION ATTEMPT TO EXCITE PUBLIC INTEREST 
MONSTER JULLIEN CONCERTS RESIGNATION OF THE CRYSTAL PALACE PRES 
IDENCY FAILURE OF THE CONCERN. 

IN the summer, I think, of 1853, I saw it announced 
in the newspapers that Mr. Alfred Bunn, the great 
ex-manager of Drury Lane Theatre, in London, had 
arrived in Boston. Of course, I knew Mr. Bunn by 
reputation, not only from his managerial career, but 
from the fact that he made the first" engagement with 
Jenny Lind to appear in London. This engagement, 
however, Mr. Lumley, of Her Majesty s Theatre, induced 
her to break, he standing a lawsuit with Mr. Bunn, and 
paying heavy damages. I had never met Mr. Bunn, but 
he took it for granted that I had seen him, for one day 
after his arrival in this country, a burly Englishman 
abruptly stepped into my private office in the Museum, 
and assuming a theatrical attitude, addressed me : 

" Barnum, do you remember me ] " 



372 WORK AND PLAY. 

I was confident I had never seen the man before, but 
it struck me at once that no Englishman I ever heard 
of would be likely to exhibit more presumption 01 
assumption than the ex-manager of Drury Lane, and 1 
jumped at the conclusion : 

" Is not this Mr. Bunn?" 

" Ah ! Ah ! my boy ! " he exclaimed, slapping me 
familiarly on the back, " I thought you would remember 
me. Well, Barnum, how have you been since I last 
saw you ? " 

I replied in a manner that would humor his impres 
sion that we were old acquaintances, and during his two 
hours visit we had much gossip about men and things in 
London. He called upon me several times, and it prob 
ably never entered into his mind that I could possibly 
have been in London two or three years without having 
made the personal acquaintance of so great a lion as 
Alfred Bunn. 

I met Mr. Bunn again in 1858, in London, at a din 
ner party of a mutual friend, Mr. Levy, proprietor of 
the London Daily Telegraph. Of course, Bunn and I 
were great chums and very old and intimate acquaint 
ances. At the same dinner, I met several literary and 
dramatic gentlemen. 

In 1851, 1852, and 1853, 1 spent much of my time 
at my beautiful home in Bridgeport, going very fre- 
.quently to New York, to attend to matters in the 
Museum, but remaining in the city only a day or two at 
a time. I resigned the office of President of the Fair- 
field County Agricultural Society in 1853, but the mem 
bers accepted my resignation, only on condition that it 
should not go into effect until after the fair of 1854. 
During my administration, the society held six fairs and 



WORK AND PLAY. 373 

cattle-shows, four in Bridgeport and two in Stam 
ford, and the interest in these gatherings increased 
from year to year. 

Pickpockets are always present at these country fairs, 
and every year there were loud complaints of the depre 
dations of these operators. In 1853 a man was caught 
in the act of taking a pocket-book from a country 
farmer, nor was this farmer the only one who had suf 
fered in the same way. The scamp was arrested, and 
proved to be a celebrated English pickpocket. As the 
Fair would close the next day, and as most persons had 
already visited it, we expected our receipts would be 
light. 

Early in the morning the detected party was legally 
examined, plead guilty, and was bound over for trial. 
I obtained consent from the sheriff that the culprit 
should be put in the Fair room for the purpose of 
giving those who had been robbed an opportunity to 
identify him. For this purpose he was handcuffed, and 
placed in a conspicuous position, where of course he 
was " the observed of all observers." I then issued 
handbills, stating that as it was the last day of the Fair, 
the managers were happy to announce that they had 
secured extra attractions for the occasion, and would 
accordingly exhibit, safely handcuffed, and without extra 
charge, a live pickpocket, who had been caught in the 
act of robbing an honest farmer the day previous. 
Crowds of people rushed in " to see the show." Some 
good mothers brought their children ten miles for that 
purpose, and our treasury was materially benefited by 
the operation. 

At the close of my presidency in 1854, 1 was requested 
to deliver the opening speech at our County Fair, which 



374: WORK AND PLAY. 

was held at Stamford. As I was not able to give agricul 1 - 
tural advice, I delivered a portion of my lecture on the 
" Philosophy of Humbug." The next morning, as I 
was being shaved in the village barber s shop, which 
was at the time crowded with customers, the ticket- 
seller to the Fair came in. 

"What kind of a house did you have last night?" 
asked one of the gentlemen in waiting, 

" Oh, first-rate, of course. Barnum always draws a 
crowd," was the reply of the ticket-seller, to whom I 
was not known. 

Most of the gentlemen present, however, knew me, 
and they found much difficulty in restraining their 
laughter. 

" Did Barnum make a good speech ? " I asked. 

" I did not hear it. I was out in the ticket-office. I 
guess it was pretty good, for I never heard so much 
laughing as there was all through his speech. But it 
makes no difference whether it was good or not," con 
tinued the ticket-seller, " the people will go to see Bar 
num." 

" Barnum must be a curious chap," I remarked. 

" Well, I guess he is up to all the dodges." 

" Do you know him ? " I asked. 

" Not personally," he replied ; " but I always get into 
the Museum for nothing. I know the doorkeeper, and 
he slips me in free." 

" Barnum would not like that, probably, if he knew 
it," I remarked. 

" But it happens he don t know it," replied the ticket- 
seller, in great glee. 

" Barnum was on the cars the other day, on his way 
to Bridgeport," said I, " and I heard one of the passeiv 



WORK AND PLAY. 375 

gers blowing him up terribly as a humbug. He was 
addressing Barnum at the time, but did not know him. 
Barnum joined in lustily, and indorsed everything the 
man said. When the passenger learned whom he had 
been addressing, I should think he must have felt rather 
flat." 

" I should think so, too," said the ticket seller. 

This was too much, and we all indulged in a burst 
of laughter ; still the ticket-seller suspected nothing. 
After I had left the shop, the barber told him who I 
was. I called into the ticket-office on business several 
times during the day, but the poor ticket-seller kept his 
face turned from me, and appeared so chap-fallen that 
I did not pretend to recognize him as the hero of the 
joke in the barber s shop. 

This incident reminds me of numerous similar ones 
which have occurred at various times. On one occasion 
it was in 1847 I was on board the steamboat from 
New York to Bridgeport. As we approached the har 
bor of the latter city, a stranger desired me to point out 
" Barnum s house " from the upper deck. I did so, 
whereupon a bystander remarked, " I know all about 
that house, for I was engaged in painting there for sev 
eral months while Barnum was in Europe." He then 
proceeded to say that it was the meanest and most ill- 
contrived house he ever saw. " It will cost old Barnum 
a mint of money, and not be worth two cents after it is 
finished," he added. 

" I suppose old Barnum don t pay very punctually," 
I remarked. 

" Oh, yes, he pays punctually every Saturday night 
there s no trouble about that ; he has made half a million 
by exhibiting a little boy whom he took from Bridgeport, 



376 WORK AND PLAY. 

and whom we never considered any great shakes till 
Barnum took him and trained him." 

Soon afterwards one of the passengers told him who 
I was, whereupon he secreted himself, and was not seen 
again while I remained on the boat. 

On another occasion, I went to Boston by the Fall 
River route. Arriving before sunrise, I found but one 
carriage at the depot. I immediately engaged it, and 
giving the driver the check for my baggage, told him to 
take me directly to the Revere House, as I was in great 
haste, and enjoined him to take in no other passengers, 
and I would pay his demands. He promised compliance 
with my wishes, but soon afterwards appeared with a 
gentleman, two ladies, and several children, whom he 
crowded into the carriage with me, and placing their 
trunks on the baggage rack, started off. I thought 
there was no use in grumbling, and consoled myself 
with the reflection that the Revere House was not far 
away. He drove up one street and down another, 
for what seemed to me a very long time, but I was 
wedged in so closely that I could not see what route he 
was taking. 

After half an hour s drive he halted, and I found we 
were at the Lowell Railway depot. Here my fellow- 
passengers alighted, and after a long delay the driver 
delivered their baggage, received his fare, and was about 
closing the carriage door preparatory to starting again. 
I was so thoroughly vexed at the shameful manner in 
which he had treated me, that I remarked ; 

" Perhaps you had better wait till the Lowell train 
arrives ; you may possibly get another load of passen 
gers. Of course my convenience is of no consequence. 
I suppose if you land me at the Revere House any 



WORK AND PLAY. 377 

time this week, it will be as much as I have a right to 
expect." 

" I beg your pardon," he replied, " but that was Bar 
num and his family. He was very anxious to get here 
in time for the first train, so I stuck him for $2, and now 
I ll carry you to the Eevere House free." 

" What Barnum is it ? " I asked. 

" The Museum and Jenny Lind man," he replied. 

The compliment and the shave both having been 
intended for me, I was of course mollified, and replied, 
" You are mistaken, my friend, / am Barnum." 

" Coachee " was thunderstruck, and offered all sorts 
of apologies. 

" A friend at the other depot told me that I had 
Mr. Barnum on board," said he, " and I really supposed 
he meant the other man. When I come to notice you, 
I perceive my mistake, but I hope you will forgive me. 
I have carried you frequently before, and hope you will 
give me your custom while you are in Boston. I never 
will make such a mistake again." I had to be satisfied. 

Late in August, 1851, I was visited at Bridgeport by 
a gentleman who was interested in an English invention 
patented in this country, and known as Phillips Fire 
Annihilator, He showed me a number of certificates 
from men of eminence and trustworthiness in England, 
setting forth the merits of the invention in the highest 
terms. The principal value of the machine seemed to 
consist in its power to extinguish flame, and thus pre 
vent the spread of fire when it once broke out. Besides, 
the steam or vapor generated in the Annihilator was not 
prejudicial to human life. Now, as water has no effect 
whatever upon flame, it was obvious that the Annihi 
lator would at the least prove a great assistant in extin- 



378 WORK AND PLAY. 

guishing conflagrations, and that, especially in the incip 
ient stage of a fire, it would extinguish it altogether, 
without damage to goods or other property, as is usually 
the case with water. 

Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, First Comptroller of the 
United States Treasury at Washington, was interested in 
the American patent, and the gentleman that called 
upon me desired that I should also take an interest in 
it. I had no disposition to engage in any speculation ; 
but, believing this might prove a beneficent invention, 
and be the means of saving a vast amount of human 
life as well as property, I visited Washington City for 
the purpose of conferring with Mr. Whittlesey, Hon. J. 
W. Allen and other parties interested. 

I was there shown numerous certificates of fires 
having been extinguished by the machine in Great 
Britain, and property to the amount of many thousands 
of pounds saved. I also saw that Lord Brougham had 
proposed in Parliament that every Government vessel 
should be compelled to have the Fire Annihilator on 
board. Mr. Whittlesey expressed his belief in writing, 
that " if there is any reliance to be placed on human 
testimony, it is one of the greatest discoveries of this 
most extraordinary age." I fully agreed with him, and 
have never yet seen occasion to change that opinion. 

I agreed to join in the enterprise. Mr. Whittlesey 
was elected President, and I was appointed Secretary 
and General Agent of the Company. I opened the 
office of the Company in New York, and sold and 
engaged machines and territory in a few months to the 
amount of $180,000. I refused to receive more than a 
small portion of the purchase money until a public 
experiment had tested the powers of the machine, and 



WORK AND PLAY. 379 

I voluntarily delivered to every purchaser an agreement, 
signed by myself, in the following words: 

" If the public test and demonstration are not per 
fectly successful, I will at any time when demanded, 
within ten days after the public trial, refund and pay 
back every shilling that has been paid into this office 
for machines or territory for the sale of the patent." 

The public trial came off in Hamilton Square on the 
18th December, 1851. It was an exceedingly cold and 
inclement day, Mr. Phillips, who conducted the experi 
ment, was interfered with and knocked down by some 
rowdies who were opposed to the invention, and the 
building was ignited and consumed after he had extin 
guished the previous fire. Subsequently to this unex 
pected and unjust opposition, I refunded every cent 
which I had received, sometimes against the wishes of 
those who had purchased, for they were willing to wait 
the result of further experiments ; but I was utterly 
disgusted with the course of a large portion of the 
public upon a subject in which they were much more 
deeply interested than I was. 

The arrangements of the Annihilator Company with 
Mr. Phillips, the inventor, predicated all payments 
which he was to receive on bona fide sales which we 
should actually make ; therefore he really received 
nothing, and the entire losses of the American Com 
pany, which were merely for advertising and the 
expense of trying the experiments, hire of an office, 
etc., amounted to nearly $30,000, of which my portion 
was less than $10,000. 

In the spring of 1851 the Connecticut Legislature 
chartered the Pequonnock Bank of Bridgeport, with 
a capital of two hundred thousand dollars. I had no 



380 WORK AND PLAY. 

interest whatever in the charter, and did not even know- 
that an application was to be made for it. More banking 
capital was needed in Bridgeport in consequence of the 
great increase of trade and manufactures in that growing 
and prosperous city, and this fact appearing in evidence, 
the charter was granted as a public benefit. The stock- 
books were, opened under the direction of State Com 
missioners, according to the laws of the Commonwealth, 
and nearly double the amount of capital was subscribed 
on the first day. The stock was distributed by the 
Commissioners among several hundred applicants. Cir 
cumstances unexpectedly occurred which induced me to 
accept the presidency of the bank, in compliance with 
the unanimous vote of its directors. Feeling that I 
could not, from my many avocations, devote the requisite 
personal attention to the duties of the office, C. B. Hub- 
bell, Esq., then Mayor of Bridgeport, was at my request 
appointed Vice -President of the institution. 

In the fall of 1852 a proposition was made by certain 
parties to commence the publication of an illustrated 
weekly newspaper in the City of New York. The field 
seemed to be open for such an enterprise, and I invested 
twenty thousand dollars in the concern, as special part 
ner, in connection with two other gentlemen, who each 
contributed twenty thousand dollars, as general partners. 
Within a month after the publication of the first number 
of the Illustrated News, which was issued on the first 
day of January, 1853, our weekly circulation had 
reached seventy thousand. Numerous and ajmost 
insurmountable difficulties, for novices in the business, 
continued however to arise, and my partners becoming 
weary and disheartened with constant over-exertion, 
were anxious to wind up the enterprise at the end of 



WOKK AND PLAY. 

the first year. The good-will and the engravings were 
sold to Gleasoris Pictorial^ in Boston, and the concern 
was closed without loss. 

In 1851, when the idea of opening a World s Fair in 
New York was first broached, I was waited upon by 
Mr. Riddell and the other originators of the scheme, 
and invited to join in getting it up. I declined, giving 
as a reason that such a project was, in my opinion, pre 
mature. I felt that it was following quite too closely 
upon its London prototype, and assured the projectors 
that I could see in it nothing but certain loss. The 
plan, however, was carried out, and a charter obtained 
from the New York Legislature. The building was 
erected on a plot of ground upon Reservoir Square, 
leased to the association, by the City of New York, for 
one dollar per annum. The location, being four miles 
distant from the City Hall, was enough of itself to kill 
the enterprise. The stock was readily taken up, how 
ever, and the Crystal Palace opened to the public in 
July, 1853. Many thousands of strangers were brought 
to New York, and however disastrous the enterprise 
may have proved to the stockholders, it is evident that 
the general prosperity of the city has been promoted far 
beyond the entire cost of the whole speculation. 

In February, 1854, numerous stockholders applied to 
me to accept the Presidency of the Crystal Palace, or, 
as it was termed, <; The Association for the Exhibition 
of the Industry of all Nations." I utterly declined lis 
tening to such a project, as I felt confident that the 
novelty had passed away, and that it would be difficult 
to revive public interest in the affair. 

Shortly afterwards, however, I was waited upon by 
numerous influential gentlemen, and strongly urged to 

18 



382 WORK AND PLAY. 

allow my name to be used. I repeatedly objected to 
this, and at last consented, much against my own judg 
ment. Having been elected one of the directors, I was 
by that body chosen President. I accepted the office 
conditionally, reserving the right to decline if I thought, 
upon investigation, that there was no vitality left in the 
institution. Upon examining the accounts said to exist 
against the Association, many were pronounced indefen 
sible by those who I supposed knew the facts in the case, 
while various debts existing against the concern were 
not exhibited whea called for, and I knew nothing of 
their existence until after I accepted the office of Presi 
dent. I finally accepted it, only because no suitable 
person could be found who was willing to devote his 
entire time and services to the enterprise, and because I 
was frequently urged by directors and stockholders to 
take hold of it for the benefit of the city at large, inas 
much as it was well settled that the Palace would bo 
permanently closed early in April, 1854, if I did not 
take the helm. 

These considerations moved me, and I entered upon 
my duties with all the vigor which I could command. 
To save it from bankruptcy, I advanced large sums of 
money for the payment of debts, and tried by every legit 
imate means to create an excitement and bring it into 
life. By extraneous efforts, such as the Re-inauguration, 
the Monster Concerts of Jullien, the Celebration of 
Independence, etc., it was temporarily galvanized, and 
gave several life-like kicks, generally without material 
results, except prostrating those who handled it too 
familiarly ; but it was a corpse long before I touched it, 
and I found, after a thorough trial, that my first impres 
sion was correct, and that so far as my ability was con- 



WOEK AND PLAY. 383 

eerned, "the dead could not be raised." I therefore 
resigned the presidency and the concern soon went into 
liquidation. 

In 1854, my esteemed friend. Reverend Moses Ballon, 
wrote, and Redfield, of New York, published a volume 
entitled " The Divine Character Vindicated " in which 
he reviewed some of the principal features of a work by 
the Rev. E. Beecher, brother of Henry Ward Beecher, 
"The Conflict of Ages; or, the Great Debate on the 
Moral Relations of God and Man." The dedication in 
Rev. Mr. Ballou s volume was as follows : 

To P. T. BARNUM, ESQ., IRANISTAN. 

My Dear B.:I am more deeply indebted to you for personal favors than to any 
other living man, and I feel that it is but a poor acknowledgment to beg your 
acceptance of this volume. Still, I know that you will value it somewhat, not 
only for the sake of our personal friendship, but because it is an advocate of that 
interpretation of Christianity of which you have ever been a most generous and 
devoted patron. With renewed assurances of my best regards, 

I am, yours, always, 

BRIDGEPORT, January 22, 1854. M. B. 

The following trifling incident which occurred at 
Iranistan in the winter of 1852, has been called to my 
mind by a lady friend from Philadelphia, who was 
visiting us at the time. The poem was sent to me soon 
after the occurrence, but was lost and the subject 
forgotten until my Philadelphia friend recently sent it 
to me with the wish that I should insert it in the present 
volume : 

WINTER BOUQUETS. 
AN INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. 

THE poor man s garden lifeless lay 

Beneath a fall of snow ; 
But Art in costly greenhouses, 

Keeps Summer in full glow. 
And Taste paid gold for bright bouquets, 

The parlor vase that drcst, 
That scented Fashion is gay boudoir, 

Or bloomed on Beauty s breast 



384 WOKK AND PLAY. 

A rich man sat beside the fire, 

Within his sculptured halls ; 
Brave heart, clear head, and busy hand, 

Had reared those stately walls. 
He to his gardener spake, and said 

In tone of quiet glee 
" I want a hundred fine bouquets 

Canst make them, John, for me?" 

John s eyes became exceeding round, 
This question when he heard ; 

He gazed upon his master, 
And he answered not a word. 

" Well, John," the rich man laughing said, 
l . "If these too many be, 

What sayest to half the number, man ? 
Canst fifty make for me ? " 

Now John prized every flower, as twere 

A daughter or a son ; 
And thought, like Began " what the need 

Of fifty, or of one?" 
But keeping back the thought, he said, 

" I think, sir, that I might ; 
But it would leave my lady s flowers 

In very ragged plight." 

" Well, John, thy vegetable pets 

Must needs respected be ; 
We ll halve the number once again 

Make twenty-five for me. 
And hark ye, John, when they are made 

Come up and let me know ; 
And I ll give thee a list of those 

To whom the flowers must go." 

The twenty-five bouquets were made, 

And round the village sent ; 
And to whom thinkest thou, my friend, 

These floral jewels went? 
Not to the beautiful and proud 

Not to the rich and gay 
Who, Dives-like, at Luxury s feast 

Are seated every day. 

An aged Pastor, on his desk 
Saw those fair preachers stand; 

A Widow wept upon the gift, 
And blessed the giver s hand. 

Where Poverty bent o er her task, 
They cheered the lonely room; 

And round the bed where Sickness lay, 

. They breathed Health s fresh perfume. 



WORK AND PLAY. 385 

Oh ! kindly heart and open hand 

Those flowers in dust are trod, 
But they bloom to weave a wreath for thee, 

In the Paradise of God. 
Sweet is the Minstrel s task, whose song 

Of deeds like these may tell ; 
And long may he have power to give, 

Who wields that power so well! 

MKS. ANNA BACHE. 
PHILADELPHIA. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

THE JEROME CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 

TOE EAST BRIDGEPORT ENTERPRISE W. H. NOBLE PLANS FOR A NEW CITY 
DR. TIMOTHY DWIGHT s TESTIMONY INVESTING A FORTUNE SELLING 
CITY LOTS MONEY MAKING A SECONDARY CONSIDERATION CLOCK COM 
PANY IN LITCHFIELD THE "TERRY AND BABNUM MANUFACTURING COM 
PANY "7- THE JEROME CLOCK COMPANY BAITING FOR BITES FALSE REP 
RESENTATIONS HOW I WAS DELUDED WHAT I AGREED TO DO THE COUN 
TER AGREEMENT NOTES WITH BLANK DATES THE LIMIT OF MY RESPON 
SIBILITY HOW IT WAS EXCEEDED STARTLING DISCOVERIES A RUINED 
MAN PAYING MY OWN HONEST DEBTS BARNUM DUPED MY FAILURE 
THE BARNUM AND JEROME CLOCK BUBBLE MORALISTS MAKING USE OF 
MY MISFORTUNES WHAT PREACHERS, PAPERS, AND PEOPLE SAID ABOUT 
ME DOWN IN THE DEPTHS. 

I NOW come to a series of events which, all things 
considered, constitute one of the most remarkable expe 
riences of my life an experience which brought me 
much pain and many trials ; which humbled my pride 
and threatened me with hopeless financial ruin ; and yet, 
nevertheless, put new blood in my veins, fresh vigor 
in my action, warding off all temptation to rust in the 
repose which affluence induces, and developed, I trust, 
new and better elements of manliness in my character. 
This trial carried me through a severe and costly disci 
pline, and now that I have passed through it and 
have triumphed over it, I can thank God for sending 
it upon me, though I feel no special obligations to the 
human instruments employed in the severe chasten 
ing. 



CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 387 

When the blow fell upon me, I thought that I could 
never recover; the event has shown, however, that 
I have gained both in character and fortune, and what 
threatened, for years, to be my ruin, has proved one of 
the most fortunate happenings of my career. The 
" Bull Run " of my life s battle was a crushing defeat, 
which, unknown to me at the time, only presaged the 
victories which were to follow. 

In my general plan of presenting the facts and inci 
dents of my life in chronological order, I shall neces 
sarily introduce in the history of the next seven years, 
an account of my entanglement in the " Jerome Clock 
Company," how I was drawn into it, how I got out 
of it, and what it did to me and for me. The great 
notoriety given to my connection with this concern 
the fact that the journals throughout the country 
made it the subject of news, gossip, sympathy, abuse, 
and advice to and about me, my friends, my persecut 
ors, and the public generally seems to demand that the 
story should be briefly but plainly told. The event itself 
has passed away and with it the passions and excite 
ments that were born of it ; and I certainly have no 
desire now to deal in personalities or to go into the 
question of the motives which influenced those w r ho 
were interested, any farther than may be strictly essen 
tial to a fair and candid statement of the case. 

It is vital to the narrative that I should give some 
account of the new city, East Bridgeport, and my inter 
ests therein, which led directly to my subsequent com 
plications with the Jerome Clock Company. 

In 1851, I purchased from Mr. William H. Noble, of 
Bridgeport, the undivided half of his late father s home 
stead, consisting of fifty acres of land; lying on the east 



388 CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 

side of the river, opposite the City of Bridgeport. We 
intended this as the nucleus of a new city, which we 
concluded could soon be built up, in consequence of 
many natural advantages that it possesses. 

Before giving publicity to our plans, however, we 
purchased one hundred and seventy-four acres contigu 
ous to that which we already owned, and laid out the 
entire property in regular streets, and lined them with 
trees, reserving a beautiful grove of six or eight acres, 
which we inclosed, and converted into a public park. 
We then commenced selling alternate lots, at the same 
price which the land cost us by the acre. Our sales 
were always made on the condition that a suitable 
dwelling-house, store, or manufactory should be erected 
upon the land, within one year from the date of pur 
chase ; that every building should be placed at a cer 
tain distance from the street, in a style of architecture 
approved by us ; that the grounds should be enclosed 
with acceptable fences, and kept clean and neat, with 
other conditions which would render the locality a desir 
able one for respectable residents, and operate for the 
mutual benefit of all persons who should become set 
tlers in the new city. 

This entire property consists of a beautiful plateau ot 
ground, lying within less than half a mile of the centre 
of Bridgeport city. Considering the superiority of the 
situation, it is a wonder that the City of Bridgeport was 
not originally founded upon that side of the river. The 
late Dr. Timothy D wight, for a long time President of 
Yale College, in his " Travels in New England in 1815," 
says of the locality : 

" There is not in the State a prettier village than the 
borough of Bridgeport. In the year 1783, there were 



CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 389 



ri r > n? / r i^< 

scarcely half a dozen houses in this place. It now con 

tains probably more than one hundred, built on both 
sides of Pughquonnuck (Pequonnock) river, a beautiful 
mill-stream, forming at its mouth the harbor of Bridge 
port. The situation of this village is very handsome, 
particularly on the eastern side of the river. A more 
cheerful and elegant piece of ground can scarcely be 
imagined than the point which stretches between the 
Pughquonnuck and the old mill-brook ; and the pros 
pects presented by the harbors at the mouths of these 
streams, the Sound, and the surrounding country, are, 
in a fine season, gay and brilliant, perhaps without a 
parallel." 

I 00 }.A-" >. <)>>;, f.iii "l 

This " cheerful and elegant piece of ground," as Dr. 
Dwight so truly describes it, had only been kept from 
market by the want of means of access. A new foot 
bridge was built, connecting this place with the City of 
Bridgeport, and a public toll-bridge which belonged to 
us was thrown open to the public free. We also 
obtained from the State Legislature a charter for erect 
ing a toll-bridge between the two bridges already exist 
ing, and under that charter we put up a fine covered 
draw- bridge at a cost of $16,000 which also we made 
free to the public for several years. We built and 
leased to a union company of young coach makers a 
large and elegant coach manufactory, which was one of 
the first buildings erected there, and which went into 
operation on the first of January, 1852, and was the 
beginning of the extensive manufactories which were 

1 1 1 ! -r-i 

subsequently built m East Bridgeport. 

Besides the inducement which we held out to pur 
chasers to obtain their lots at a merely nominal price, 
we advanced one half, two-thirds, and frequently all 

18* 



390 CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 

the funds necessary to erect their buildings, permitting 
them to repay us in sums as small as five dollars, at 
their own convenience. This arrangement enabled 
many persons to secure and ultimately pay for homes 
which they could not otherwise have obtained. We 
looked for our profits solely to the rise in the value of 
the reserved lots, which we were confident must ensue. 
Of course, these extraordinary inducements led many 
persons to build in the new city, and it began to develop 
and increase with a rapidity rarely witnessed in this 
section of the country. Indeed, our speculation, which 
might be termed a profitable philanthropy) soon 
promised to be so remunerative, that I offered Mr. 
Noble for his interest in the estate, $60,000 more than 
the prime cost, which offer he declined. 

It will thus be seen that, in 1851, my pet scheme 
was to build up a city in East Bridgeport. I had 
made a large fortune and was anxious to be released 
from the harassing cares of active business. But I could 
not be idle, and if I could be instrumental in giving 
value to land comparatively worthless ; if I could by 
the judicious investment of a portion of my capital open 
the way for new industries and new homes, I should be 
of service to my fellow men and find grateful employ 
ment for my energies and time. I saw that in case of 
success there was profit in my project, and I was 
enough like mankind in general to look upon the 
enlargement of my means as a consummation devoutly 
and legitimately to be wished. 

Yet, I can truly say that mere money-making was 
a secondary consideration in my scheme. I wanted 
to build a city on the beautiful plateau across the river ; 
in the expressive phrase of the day, I " had East 

.Of/) jTfrff >ff WWPV 



CLOCK. COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 391 

Bridgeport on the brain." Whoever approached me 
with a project which looked to the advancement of my 
new city, touched my weak side and found me an eager 
listener. The serpent that beguiled me was any plaus 
ible proposition that promised prosperity to East 
Bridgeport, and it was in this way that the coming city 
connected me with that source of so many annoyances 
and woes, the Jerome Clock Company. 

There was a small clock manufactory in the town of 
Litehfield, Connecticut, in which I became a stock 
holder to the amount of six or seven thousand dollars, 
and my duties as a director in the company called me 
occasionally to Litchfield and made me somewhat 
acquainted with the clock business. Thinking of plans 
to forward my pet East Bridgeport enterprise, it 
occurred to me that if the Litchfield clock concern 
could be transferred to my prospective new city, it 
would necessarily bring many families, thus increasing 
the growth of the place and the value of the property. 
Negotiations were at once commenced and the desired 
transfer of the business was the result. A new stock 
company was formed under the name of the " Terry & 
Barnum Manufacturing Company, " and in 1852 a 
factory was built in East Bridgeport. 

In 1855, I received a suggestion from a citizen of 
New Haven, that the Jerome Clock Company, then repu 
ted to be a wealthy concern, should be removed to East 
Bridgeport, and shortly afterwards I was visited f.t Iran- 
istan by Mr. Chauncey Jerome, the President of that 
company. The result of this visit was a proposition 
from the agent of the company, who also held power of 
attorney for the president, that I should lend my name 
as security for $110,000 in aid of the Jerome Clock 



392 CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 

Company, and the proffered compensation was the 
transfer of this great manufacturing concern, with its 
seven hundred to one thousand operatives, to my beloved 
East Bridgeport. It was just the bait for the fish ; 1 
was all attention ; yet I must do my judgment the jus 
tice to say that I called for proofs, strong and ample, 
that the great company deserved its reputation as a 
substantial enterprise that might safely be trusted. 

Accordingly, I was shown an official report of the 
directors of the company, exhibiting a capital of $400,- 
000, and a surplus of $187,000, in all, $587,000. The 
need for $110,000 more, was on account of a dull sea 
son, and the market glutted with the goods, and imme 
diate money demands which must be met. I was also 
impressed with the pathetic tale that the company was 
exceedingly loth to dismiss any of the operatives, who 
would suffer greatly if their only dependence for their 
daily food was taken away. 

The official statement seemed satisfactory, and I cor 
dially sympathized with the philanthropic purpose of 
keeping the workmen employed, even in the dull season. 
The company was reputed to be rich ; the President, 
Mr. Chauncey Jerome, had built a church in New 
Haven, at a cost of $40,000, and proposed to present it 
to a congregation ; he had given a clock to a church in 
Bridgeport, and these things showed that he, at le*^t, 
thought he was wealthy. The Jerome . clocks were for 
sale all over the world, even in China, where the Celes 
tials were said to take out the " movements," and use 
the cases for little temples for their idols, thus proving 
that faith was possible without " works." So wealthy 
and so widely-known a company would surely be a 
grand acquisition to my city. 



CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 393 

Further testimony came in the form of a letter from 
the cashier of one of the New Haven banks, express 
ing the highest confidence in the financial strength of 
the concern, and much satisfaction that I contemplated 
giving temporary aid which would keep so many work 
men and their families from suffering, and perhaps star 
vation. I had not, at the time, the slightest suspicion 
that my voluntary correspondent had any interest in the 
transfer of the Jerome Company from New Haven to 
East Bridgeport, though I was subsequently informed 
that the bank, of which my correspondent was the 
cashier, was almost the largest, if not the largest, creditor 
of the clock company. 

Under all the circumstances, and influenced by the 
rose-colored representations made to me, not less than 
by my mania to push the growth of my new city, I 
finally accepted the proposition and consented to 
an agreement that I would lend the clock company 
my notes for a sum not to exceed $50,000, and accept 
drafts to an amount not to exceed $60,000. It was 
thoroughly understood that I was in no case to be 
responsible for one cent in excess of $110,000. I also 
received the written guaranty of Chauncey Jerome that 
in no event should I lose by the loan, as he would 
become personally responsible for the repayment. I 
was willing that my notes, when taken up, should 
be renewed, I cared not how often, provided the stipu 
lated maximum of $110,000 should never be exceeded. 
I was weak enough, however, under the representation 
that it was impossible to say exactly when it would 
be necessary to use the notes> to put my name to 
several notes for $3,000, $5,000, and $10,000, leaving 
the date of payment blank ; but it was agreed that the 



394 CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT, 

blanks should be filled to make the notes payable in 
five, ten, or even sixty days from date, according to the 
exigencies of the case, and I was careful to keep a 
memorandum of the several amounts of the notes. 

On the other side it was agreed that the Jerome 
Company should exchange its stock with the Terry & 
Barnum stockholders and thus absorb that company 
and unite the entire business in East Bridgeport. It 
was scarcely a month before the secretary wrote me 
that the company would soon be in condition to " snap 
its fingers at the banks." 

Nevertheless, three months after the consolidation of 
the companies, a reference to my memoranda showed 
that I had already become responsible for the stipulated 
sum of $110,000. I was then called upon in New 
5fork by the agent who wanted five notes of $5,000 
each and I declined to furnish them, unless 1 should 
receive in return an equal amount in my own cancelled 
notes, since he assured me they were cancelling these 
" every week." The cancelled notes were brought to me 
next day and I renewed them. This I did frequently, 
always receiving cancelled notes, till finally my confi 
dence in the company became so established that I did 
not ask to see the notes that had been taken up, but fur 
nished new accommodation paper as it was called for. 

By and by I heard that the banks began to hesitate 
about discounting my paper, and knowing that I was good 
for $110,000 several times over, I wondered what was the 
matter, till the discovery came at last that my notes had 
not been taken up as was represented, and that some of 
the blank date notes had been made payable in twelve, 
eighteen, and twenty-four months. Further investiga 
tion revealed the frightful fact that I had endorsed for 



CLOCK COMPANY ENTANGLEMENT. 395 

the clock company to the extent of more than half 
a million dollars, and most of the notes had been 
exchanged for old Jerome Company notes due to the 
banks and other creditors. My agent who made these 
startling discoveries came back to me with the refresh 
ing intelligence that I was a ruined man ! 

Not quite ; I had the mountain of Jerome debts on 
my back, but I found means to pay every clain; against 
me at my bank, all my store and shop debts, notes to 
the amount of $40,000, which banks in my neighbor 
hood, relying upon my personal integrity, had discounted 
for the Clock Company, and then I. failed ! 

What a dupe had I been ! Here was a great co apany 
pretending to be worth $587,000, asking temporary 
assistance to the amount of $110,000, coming down 
with a crash, so soon as my helping hand was removed, 
and sweeping me down with it. It failed ; and even 
after absorbing my fortune, it paid but from twelve to 
fifteen per cent of its obligations, while, to cap the 
climax, it never removed to East Bridgeport at all, 
notwithstanding this was the only condition which ever 
prompted me to advance one dollar to the rotten 
concern ! 

If at any time my vanity had been chilled by the fear 
that after my retirement from the Jenny Lind enterprise 
the world would forget me, this affair speedily reassured 
me ; I had notice enough to satisfy the most inordinate 
craving for notoriety. All over the country, and even 
across the ocean, " Barnum and the Jerome Clock 
Bubble " was the great newspaper theme. I was taken 
to pieces^ analyzed, put together again, kicked, 
" pitched into," tumbled about, preached to, preached 
about, and made to serve every purpose to which a 



896 CLOCK COMPANY ENTAHGLEMENT. 

sensation-loving world could put me. Well! I was 
now in training, in a new school, and was learning 
new and strange lessons. 

Yet, these new lessons conveyed the old, old story. 
There were those who had fawned upon me in my pros 
perity, who now jeered at my adversity ; people whom 
I had specially favored, made special efforts to show 
their ingratitude ; papers which, when I had the means 
to make it an object for them to be on good terms with 
me, overloaded me with adulation, now attempted to 
overwhelm me with abuse ; and then the immense 
amourt of moralizing over the " instability of human 
fortunes," and especially the retributive justice that is 
sure to follow " ill-gotten gains," which my censors 
assumed to be the sum and substance of my honorably 
acquired and industriously worked for property. I have 
no doubt that much of this kind of twaddle was believed 
>y the twaddlers to be sincere ; and thus my case was 
actual capital to certain preachers and religious editors 
who were in want of fresh illustrations wherewith to 
point their morals. 

As for myself, I was in the depths, but I did not de 
spond. I was confident that with energetic purpose and 
divine assistance I should, if my health and life were 
spared, get on my feet again ; and events have since- 
fully justified and verified the expectation and the effort. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 

FRIENDS TO THE RESCUE MONEY OFFERS REFUSED BENEFITS DECLINED 
MAGNIFICENT OFFER OF PROMINENT NEW YORK CITIZENS WILLIAM E. 
BURTON LAURA KEENE WILLIAM NIBLO GENERAL TOM THUMB EDI 
TORIAL SYMPATHY "A WORD FOR BARNUM " IN BOSTON LETTER FROM 

"MRS. PARTINGTON" CITIZENS MEETING IN BRIDGEPORT RESOLUTIONS 
OF RESPECT AND CONDOLENCE MY LETTER ON THE SITUATION TENDER 
OF FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS MAGNITUDE OF THE DECEPTION PRAC 
TISED UPON ME PROPOSITION OF COMPROMISE WITH MY CREDITORS A 
TRAP LAID FOR ME IN PHILADELPHIA THE SILVER LINING TO THE 
CLOUD THE BLOW A BENEFIT TO MY FAMILY THE REY. DR. E. H. 

CHAPIN MY DAUGHTER HELEN A LETTER WORTH TEN THOUSAND DOL 
LARS OUR NEW HOME IN NEW YORK. 

HAPPILY, there is always more wheat than there is 
chaff. While my enemies and a few envious persons 
and misguided moralists were abusing and traducirfg me, 
my very misfortunes revealed to me hosts of hitherto 
unknown friends who tendered to me something more 
than mere sympathy. Funds were offered to me in 
unbounded quantity for the support of my family and to 
re-establish me in business. I declined these tenders 
because, on principle, I never accepted a money favor, 
unless I except the single receipt of a small sum which 
came to me by mail at this time and anonymously so 
that I could not return it. Even this small sum I at 
once devoted to charity towards one who needed the 
money far more than I did. 

The generosity of my friends urged me to accept 
" benefits " by the score, the returns of which would 



398 CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 

have made me quite independent. There was a pro 
position among leading citizens in New York to give a 
series of benefits which I felt obliged to decline though 
the movement in my favor deeply touched me. To 
show the class of men who sympathized with me in my 
misfortunes and also the ground which I took in the 
matter I venture to copy the following correspondence 
which appeared in the New York papers of the day : 

NEW YORK, June 2, 1856. 
MB. P. T. BARNUM : 

Dear Sir, The financial ruin of a man of acknowledged energy and enterprise 
is a public calamity. The sudden blow, therefore, that has swept away, from a 
man like yourself, the accumulated wealth of years, justifies we think, the public 
sympathy. The better to manifest our sincere respect for your liberal example 
in prosperity, as well as exhibit our honest admiration of your fortitude under 
overwhelming reverses, we propose to give that sympathy a tangible expression 
by soliciting your acceptance of a series of benefits for your family, the result 
f which may possibly secure for your wife and children a future home, or at 
least rescue them from the more immediate consequences of your misfortune. 

Freeman Hunt, E. K. Collins, Isaac V. Fowler, James Phalen, Cornelius 
Vanderbilt, F. B. Cuting, James W. Gerard, Simeon Draper, Thomas McElrath, 
Park Godwin, R F. Carman, Gen. C. W. Sanford, Philo Hurd, President H. 
B. B. ; Win. Ellsworth, President Brooklyn Ins. Co. ; George S. Doughty, Pres 
ident Excelsior Ins. Co. ; Chas. T. Cromwell, Bobert Stuyvesant, E. L. Livingston, 
B. Busteed, Wm. P. Fettridge, E. N. Haughwout, Geo. F. Nesbitt, Osborne, 
Boardman & Townsend, Charles H. Delavan, I. & C. Berrien, Fisher & Bird, 
Solomon & Hart, B. Young, M. D., Tread well, Acker & Co., St. Nicholas Hotel, 
John Wheeler, Union Square Hotel, S. Lcland & Co., Metropolitan Hotel, 
Albert Clark, Brevoort House, H. D. Clapp, Everett House, John Taylor, Inter 
national Hotel, Sydney Hopmaii, Smithsonian Hotel, Messrs. Delmonico, 
Delmonico s, Geo. W. Sherman, Florence s Hotel, Kingsley & Ainslee, Howard 
Hotel, Libby & Whitney, Lovejoy s Hotel, Howard & Brown, Tammany Hall, 
Jonas Bartlett, Washington Hotel, Patten & Lynde, Pacific Hotel, J. Johnson, 
Johnson s Hotel, and over 1,000 others. 

To this gratifying communication I replied as follows : 

LONG ISLAND, Tuesday, June 3, 1850. 

GENTLEMEN, I can hardly find words to express my gratitude for your very 
kind proposition. The popular sympathy is to me far more precious than gold, 
and that sympathy seems in my case to extend from my immediate neighbors, in 
Bridgeport, to all parts of our Union. 

Proffers of pecuniary assistance have reached me from every quarter, not only 
from friends, but from entire strangers. Mr. Wm. E. Burton, Miss Laura Keene 
and Mr. Wm. Niblo have in the kindest manner tendered me the receipts of their 



CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 399 

theatres for one evening. Mr. Gough volunteered the proceeds of one of his at 
tractive lectures; Mr. James Phalon generously offered me the free use of the Acad 
emy of Music ; many professional ladies and gentlemen have urged me to accept 
their gratuitous services. I have, on principle, respectfully declined them all, as 
I beg, with the most grateful acknowledgments (at least for the present), to decline 
yours not because a benefit, in itself, is an objectionable thing, but because I 
have ever made it a point to ask nothing of the public on personal grounds, and 
should prefer, while I can possibly avoid that contingency, to accept nothing 
from it without the honest conviction that I had individually given it in return a 
full equivalent. 

While favored with health, I feel competent to earn an honest livelihood for 
myself and family. More than this I shall certainly never attempt with such a 
load of debt suspended in terrorem over me. "While I earnestly, thank you, there 
fore, for your generous consideration, gentlemen, I trust you will appreciate my 
desire to live unhumiliated by a sense of dependence-, and believe me, sincerely 
yours, P. T. BARNUM. 

To Messrs. FJREEMAN HUNT, E. K. COLLINS, and others. 

And with other offers of assistance from far and 
near, came the following from a little gentleman who 
did not forget his old friend and benefactor in the time 
of trial: 

JONES HOTEL, PHILADELPHIA, May 12, 185G. 

MY DEAK Mn. BARNUM, I understand your friends, and that means "all 
creation," intend to get up some benefits for your family. Now, my dear sir, just be 
good enough to remember that I belong to that mighty crowd, and I must have a 
finger (or at least a " thumb ") in that pie. I am bound to appear on all such occa- 
casions in some shape, from " Jack the Giant Killer," up stairs, to the doorkeeper 
down, whichever may serve you best; and there are some feats that I can perform 
as well as any other man of my inches. I have just started out on my western 
tour, and have my carriage, ponies and assistants all here, but I am ready to go 
on to New York, bag and baggage, and remain at Mrs. Barnum s service as long 
as I, in my small way, can be useful. Put me into any "heavy" work, if you 
like. Perhaps I cannot lift as much as some other folks, but just take your pencil 
in hand and you will see I can draw a tremendous load. I drew two hundred tons 
at a single pull to-day, embracing two thousand persons, whom I hauled up 
safely and satisfactorily to all parties, at one exhibition. Hoping that you will be 
able to fix up a lot of magnets tliat will attract all New York, and volunteering 
to sit on any part of the loadstone, I am, as ever, your little but sympathizing 
friend, GEN. TOM THUMB. 

Even this generous offer from my little friend I felt 
compelled to refuse. But kind words were written and 
spoken which I could not prevent, nor did I desire to do 
so, and which were worth more to me than money. I 
should fail to find space, if I wished it, to copy one- 



100 CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 

tenth part of the cordial and kind articles and para 
graphs that appeared about me in newspapers through 
out the country. The following sentence from an 
editorial article in a prominent New York journal was 
the key-note to many similar kind notices in all parts of 
the Union : " It is a fact beyond dispute that Mr. Bar- 
num s financial difficulties have accumulated from the 
goodness of his nature ; kind-hearted and generous to a 
fault, it has ever been his custom to lend a helping hand 
to the struggling ; and honest industry and enterprise 
have found his friendship prompt and faithful." The 
Boston Journal dwelt especially upon the use I had 
made of my money in my days of prosperity in assisting 
deserving laboring men and in giving an impulse to 
Business in the town where I resided. It seems only 
just that I should make this very brief allusion to these 
things, if only as an offset to the unbounded abuse of 
those who believed in kicking me merely because I was 
down ; nor can I refrain from copying the following 
from th<? Boston Saturday Evening Gazette, of May 3, 
1856: 

BABNUM EEDIVIVUS. 

A WORD FOB BARNUM. 

BARNUM, your hand ! Though you arc " down," 

And see full many a frigid shoulder, 
Be brave, my brick, and though they frown, 

Prove that misfortune makes you bolder. 
There s many a man that sneers, my hero, 

And former praise converts to scorning, 
Would worship when he fears a Nero, 

And bend " where thrift may follow fawning." 

y/ou humbugged us that we have seen, 

We got our money s worth, old fellow, 
And though you thought our minds were green, 

We never thought your heart was yelloio. 
We knew you liberal, generous, warm, 

Quick to assist a falling brother, 
And, with such virtues, what s the harm 

All memories of your faults to smother? 



CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 401 

"We had not heard the peerless Lind, 

But for your spirit enterprising, 
You were the man to raise the wind, 

And make a coup confessed surprising. 
You re reckoned in your native town 

A friend in need, a friend in danger, 
You ever keep the latchstring down, 

And greet with open hand the stranger. 

Stiffen your upper lip. You know 

Who are your friends and who your foes now; 
We pay for knowledge as we go ; 

And though you get some sturdy blows now, 
You ve a fair field, no favors crave, 

The storm once passed will find you braver, - 
In virtue s cause long may you wave, 

And on the right side, never waver. 

Desirous of knowing who was the author of this 
kindly effusion, I wrote, while preparing this autobiog 
raphy, to Mr. B. P. Shillaber, one of the editors of the 
journal, and well known to the public as "Mrs. Parting- 
ton." In reply, I received the following letter in which 
it will be seen that he makes sympathetic allusion to 
the burning of my last Museum, only a few weeks 
before the date of his letter : 

CHELSEA, April 25, 1868. 

MY DEAR MR. BARNUM: The poem in question was written by A. Wallace 
Thaxter, associate editor with Mr. Clapp and myself, on the Gazette since 
deceased, a glorious fellow who Avrote the poem from a sincere feeling of admi 
ration for yourself. Mr. Clapp, (Hon. W. W. Clapp,) published it with his full 
approbation. I heard of your new trouble, in my sick chamber, where I have 
been all winter, with regret, and wish you as ready a release from attending diffi 
culty as your genius has hitherto achieved under like circumstances. 
Yours, very truly, 

B. P. SHILLABER. 

But the manifestations of sympathy which came to 
me from Bridgeport, where my home had been for more 
than ten years, were the most gratifying of all, because 
they showed unmistakably that my best friends, those 
who were most constant in their friendship and most 
emphatic in their esteem, were my neighbors and asso- 



402 CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 

elates who, of all people, knew me best. With such 
support I could easily endure the attacks of traducers 
elsewhere. The New York Times, April 25, 1856, 
under the head of " Sympathy for Barnum," published 
a full report of the meeting of my fellow-citizens of 
Bridgeport, the previous evening, to take my case into 
consideration. 

In response to a call headed by the mayor of the city, 
and signed by several hundred citizens, this meeting was 
held in Washington Hall " for the purpose of sympa 
thizing with P. T. Barnum, Esq., in his recent pecuniary 
embarrassments, and of giving some public expression 
to their views in reference to his financial misfortunes." 
It was the largest public meeting which, up to that time, 
had ever been held in Bridgeport. Several prominent 
citizens made addresses, and resolutions were adopted 
declaring " that respect and sympathy were due to P. T. 
Barnum in return for his many acts of liberality, philan 
thropy and public spirit," expressing unshaken confi 
dence in his integrity, admiration for the " fortitude and 
composure with which he has met reverses into which 
he has been dragged through no fault of his own except 
a too generous confidence in pretended friends," and hop 
ing that he would " yet return to that wealth which he 
has so nobly employed, and to the community he has so 
signally benefited." During the evening the following 
letter was read : 

NEW YORK, Thursday, April 24, 1&5G. 
WM. H. NOBLE, Esq., 

Dear Sir:! have just received a slip containing a call for a public meeting of 
she citizens of Bridgeport to sympathize with me in my troubles. It is headed by 
His Honor the Mayor, and is signed by most of your prominent citizens, as well as 
by many men who by hard labor earn their daily bread, and who appreciate a calam 
ity which at a single blow strips a man of his fortune, his dear home, and all the 
worldly comforts which years of diligent labor had acquired. It is due to truth 
to say that I knew nothing of this movement until your letter informed me of it. 



CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 403 

In misfortune the true sympathy of neighbors is more consoling and precious 
than anything which money can purchase. This voluntary offering of my felloAV- 
citizens, though it thrills me with painful emotions and causes tears of gratitude, 
yet imparts to me renewed strength and fills my heart with thankfulness to Prov 
idence for raising up to my sight, above all this wreck, kind hearts which soar 
above the sordid atmosphere of "dirty dollars." I can never forget this unex 
pected kindness from my old friends and neighbors. 

I trust I am not blind to my many faults and shortcomings. I, however, do 
feel great consolation in believing that I never used money or position to oppress 
the poor or wrong my fellow-inen, and that I never turned empty away those 
whom I had the power to assist. 

My poor sick wife, who needs the bracing air which our own dear home (mad& 
beautiful by her willing hands) would now have afforded her, is driven by the 
orders of her physician to a secluded spot on Long Island where the sea-wind 
lends its healthful influence, and where I have also retired for the double purpose 
of consoling her and of recruiting my own constitution, which, through the excite 
ments of the last few months, has most seriously failed me. 

In our quiet and humble retreat, that which I most sincerely pray for is tran 
quillity and contentment. I am sure that the remembrance of the kindness of 
my Bridgeport neighbors will aid me in securing these cherished blessings. No 
man who has not passed through similar scenes can fully comprehend the misery 
which has been crowded into the last few months of my life ; but I have endeavored 
to preserve my integrity, and I humbly hope and believe that I am being taught 
humility and reliance upon Providence, which will yet afford a thousand times 
more peace and true happiness than can be acquired in the din, strife and turmoil, 
excitements and struggles of this money- worshipping age. The man who coins 
his brain and blood into gold, who wastes all of his time and thought upon the 
almighty dollar, who looks no higher than blocks of houses, and tracts of land, 
and whose iron chest is crammed with stocks and mortgages tied up with his own 
hea.rt=strings, may console himself with the idea of safe investments, but he misses 
a pleasure which I firmly believe this lesson was intended to secure to me, and 
which it will secure if I can fully bring my mind to realize its wisdom. I 
think I hear you say 

" When the devil was sick, 

The devil a saint would be. 

But when the devil got well, 

The devil a saint was he." 

Granted, but, after all, the man who looks upon the loss of money as anything 
compared to the loss of honor, or health, or self-respect, or friends, a man who 
can find no source of happiness except in riches, is to be pitied for his blindness. 
I certainly feel that the loss of money, of home and my home comforts, is dread 
ful, that to be driven again to find a resting-place away from those I love, and 
from where I had fondly supposed I was to end my days, and where I had 
lavished time, money, everything, to make my descent to the grave placid and 
pleasant, is, indeed, a severe lesson; but, after all, I firmly believe it is for the 
best, and though my heart may break, I will not repine. 

I regret, beyond expression, that any man should be a loser for having trusted 
to my name; it would not have been so, if I had not myself been deceived. As 
it is, I am gratified in knowing that all my individual obligations will be met. It 
would have been much better if clock creditors had accepted the best offer that it 
was in my power to make them ; but it was not so to be. It is now too late, and 
as I willingly give up all I possess, I can do no more- 



404 CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 

Wherever my future lot may be cast, I shall ever fondly cherish the kindness 
which I have always received from the citizens of Bridgeport. 
I am, my dear Sir, truly yours, 

P. T. BA11NUM. 

Shortly after this sympathetic meeting, a number of 
gentlemen in Bridgeport offered me a loan of $50,000 
if that sum would be instrumental in extricating me 
from my entanglement. I could not say that this? 
amount would meet the exigency; I could only say, 
" wait, wait, and hope." 

Meanwhile, my eyes were fully opened to the entire 
magnitude of the deception that had been practised 
upon my too confiding nature. I not only discovered 
that my notes had been used to five times the amount 
I stipulated or expected, but that they had been 
applied, not to relieving the company from temporary 
embarrassment after my connection with it, but almost 
wholly to the redemption of old and rotten claims of 
years and months gone by. To show the extent to 
which the fresh victim was deliberately bled, it may be 
stated that I was induced to become surety to one of 
the New Haven banks in the sum of $30,000 to indem 
nify the bank against future losses it might incur from 
the Jerome company after my connection with it, and 
by some legerdemain this bond was made to cover past 
obligations which were older even than my knowledge 
of the existence of the company. In every way it 
seemed as if I had been cruelly swindled and delibe 
rately defrauded. 

As the clock company had gone to pieces and was 
paying but from twelve to fifteen per cent for its paper, 
I sent two of my friends to New Haven to ask for a 
meeting of the creditors and I instructed them to say in 
substance for me as follows : 



CLOTHES AND SUNSHINE. 405 

" Gentlemen : This is a capital practical joke ! Be 
fore I negotiated with your clock company at all, I was 
assured by several of you, and particularly by a represen 
tative of the bank which was the largest creditor of the 
concern, that the Jerome company was eminently respon 
sible and that the head of the same was uncommonly t 
pious. On the strength of such representations solely, 
I was induced to agree to indorse and accept paper for 
that company to the extent of $1 10,000 no more. That 
sum I am now willing to pay for my own verdancy, 
with an additional sum of $40,000 for your cuteness, 
making a total of $150,000, which you can have if you 
cry quits with the fleeced showman and let him off." 

Many of the old creditors favored this proposition ; 
but it was found that the indebtedness was so scattered 
it would be impracticable to attempt a settlement by an 
unanimous compromise of the creditors. It was 
necessary to liquidation that my property should go 
into the hands of assignees ; I therefore at once turned 
over my Bridgeport property to Connecticut assignees 
and I removed my family to New York, where I also 
made an assignment of all my real and personal estate, 
excepting what had already been transferred in Connect 
icut. 

About this time I received- a letter from Philadelphia 
preferring $500 in case my circumstances were such 
that I really stood in need of help. The very wording of 
the letter awakened the suspicion in my mind that it 
was a trick to ascertain whether I really had any prop 
erty, for I knew that banks and brokers in that city 
held some of my Jerome paper which they refused to 
compound or compromise. So I at once wrote that I 
did need $500, and, as I expected, the money did not 
19 



406 CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 

come, nor was my letter answered; but, as a natural 
consequence, the Philadelphia bankers who were 
holding the Jerome paper for a higher percentage at 
once acceded to the terms which I had announced my 
self able and willing to pay. 

Every dollar which I honestly owed on my own 

count I had already paid in full or had satisfactorily 
-.1 ranged. For the liabilities incurred by the deliberate 
deception which had involved me I offered such a per 
centage as I thought my estate, when sold, would 
eventually pay ; and my wife, from her own property, 
advanced from time to time money to take up such notes 
as could be secured upon these terms. It was, however, 
a slow process. More than one creditor would hold on 
to his note, which possibly he had " shaved " at the rate 
of two or three per cent a month, and say ; 

" Oh ! you can t keep Barnum down ; he will dig out 
after a while ; I shall never sell my claim for less than 
par and interest." 

Of course, I knew very well that if all the creditors 
took this view I should never get out of the entangle 
ment in which I had been involved by the old creditors 
of the Jerome Company, who had so ingeniously man 
aged to make me take their place. All I could do 
was to take a thorough survey of the situation, arid con 
sider, now that I was down, how I could get up 
again. 

46 Every cloud," says the proverb, "has a silver lin 
ing," and so I did not despair. " This blow," I thought 
" may be beneficial to my children, if not to me." They 
had been brought up in luxury ; accustomed to call 
on servants to attend to every want ; and almost unlim 
ited in the expenditure of money. My daughter Helen, 



CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. 407 

especially, was naturally extravagant. She was a warm 
hearted, generous girl, who knew literally nothing of 
the value of money and the difficulty of acquiring it. 
At this time she was fifteen years old, and was attend 
ing a French boarding school in the City of Washing 
ton. A few days after the news of my failure was pub 
lished in the papers, my friend, the Rev. Dr. E. H. 
Chapin, of New York, was at my house. He had long 
been intimate with my family, and was well acquainted 
with the extravagant ideas and w r ays of my daughter 
Helen. One morning, I received a letter from her, filled 
with sympathy and sorrow for my misfortunes. She 
told me how much shocked she was at hearing of my 
financial disasters, and added : " Do send for me imme- 
/liately, for I cannot think of remaining here at an 
expense which my parents cannot afford. I have 
learned to play the piano well enough to be able to take 
some little girls as pupils, and in this way I can be 
of some assistance in supporting the family." 

On reading this I was deeply affected ; and, handing 
(he letter to Dr. Chapin, I said : " There, sir, is a letter 
which is worth ten thousand dollars." 

" Twenty thousand, at the least ! " was the exclama 
tion of the Doctor when he had read it. 

We were now living in a very frugal manner in 
a hired furnished house in Eighth Street, near Sixth 
Avenue, in New York, and our landlady and her family 
boarded with us. At the age of forty-six, after the 
acquisition and the loss of a handsome fortune, I was 
once more nearly at the bottom of the ladder, and was 
about to begin the world again. The situation w r as 
disheartening, but I had energy, experience, health 
and hope. 



. . . .- 
CHAPTER XXVII. , .;, : , 

EEST, BUT NOT RUST. 

SALE OF THE MUSEUM COLLECTION SUPPLEMENTARY PROCEEDINGS OF MY 
CREDITORS EXAMINATIONS IN COURT BARNUM AS A BAR T3NDER PER 
SECUTION THE SUMMER SEASON ON LONG ISLAND THE MUSEUM MAN ON 
SHOW CHARLES HOWELL A GREAT NATURAL CURIOSITY VALUE OF A 
HONK PROPOSING TO BUY IT A BLACK WHALE PAYS MY SUMMER S 
BOARD A TURN IN THE TIDE THE WHEELER AND WILSON SEWING MA 
CHINE COMPANY THEIR REMOVAL TO EAST BRIDGEPORT THE TEKRY 
AND BARNUM CLOCK FACTORY OCCUPIED NEW CITY PROPERTY LOOKING 
UP A LOAN OF $5,000 THE CAUSE OF MY RUIN PROMISES TO ME MY RE 
DEMPTION SETTING SAIL FOR ENGLAND GENERAL TOM THUMB LITTLE 
CORDELIA HOWARD. 

IN the summer of 1855, previous to my financial 
troubles, feeling that I was independent and could 
retire from active business, I sold the American Mu 
seum collection and good will to Messrs. John Green 
wood, Junior, and Henry D. Butler. They paid me 
double the amount the collection had originally cost, giv 
ing me notes for nearly the entire amount secured by a 
chattel mortgage, and hired the premises from my wife, 
who owned the Museum property lease, and on which, 
by the agreement of Messrs. Greenwood and Butler, she 
realized a profit of $19,000 a year. The chattel mort 
gage of Messrs. Greenwood and Butler, was, of course, 
turned over to the New York assignee with the other 
property. 

And now there came to me a new sensation which 
was at times terribly depressing and annoying. My wide 
spread reputation for shrewdness as a showman had 



BEST, BUT NOT BUST. 409 

induced the general belief that my means were still 
ample , and certain outside creditors who had bought my 
clock notes at a tremendous discount and entirely on 
speculation, made up their minds that they must be 
paid at once without waiting for the slow process of the 
sale of my property by the assignees. 

They therefore took what are termed " supplementary 
proceedings," which enabled them to haul me any day 
before a judge for the purpose, as they phrased it, of 
" putting Barnum through a course of sprouts," and 
which meant an examination of the debtor under oath, 
compelling him to disclose everything with regard to his 
property, his present means of living, and so on. 

I repeatedly answered all questions on these points; 
and reports of the daily examinations were published. 
Still another and another, and yet another creditor would 
haul me up ; and his attorney would ask me the same 
questions which had already been answered and pub 
lished half a dozen times. This persistent and unneces 
sary annoyance created considerable sympathy for me, 
which was not only expressed by letters I received daily 
from various parts of the country, but the public press, 
with now and then an exception, took my part, and even 
the Judges, before whom I appeared, said to me on 
more than one occasion, that as men they sincerely 
pitied me, but as judges of course they must administer 
the law. After a while, however, the judges ruled that 
I need not answer any question propounded to me by an 
attorney, if I had already answered the same question 
to some other attorney in a previous examination in 
behalf of other creditors. In fact, one of the judges, 
on one occasion, said pretty sharply to an examining 
attorney : 



410 BEST, BUT NOT BUST. 

" This, sir, has become simply a case of persecution. 
Mr. Barnum has many times answered every question 
that can properly be put to him to elicit the desired 
information ; and I think it is time to stop these exam 
inations. I advise him to not answer one interrogatory 
which he has replied to under any previous inquiries." 

These things gave me some heart, so that at last, I 
went up to the " sprouts " with less reluctance, and 
began to try to pay off my persecutors in their own 
coin. 

On one occasion, a dwarfish little lawyer, who 
reminded me of " Quilp," commenced his examination 
in behalf of a note-shaver who held a thousand dollar 
note, which it seemed he had bought for seven hundred 
dollars. After the oath had been administered the 
little "limb of the law" arranged his pen, ink and 
paper, and in a loud voice, and with a most peremptory 
and supercilious air, asked : 

" What is your name, sir? " 

I answered him, and his next question, given in 
a louder and more peremptory tone, was : 

" What is your business V 

" Attending bar," I meekly replied. 

" Attending bar ! " he echoed, with an appearance of 
much surprise ; " Attending bar ! Why, do n t you 
profess to be a temperance man a teetotaler V 

" I do," I replied. 

" And yet, sir, do you have the audacity to assert that 
you peddle rum all day, and drink none yourself ? " 

" I doubt whether that is a relevant question," I 
said in a low tone of voice. 

" I will appeal to his honor the judge, if you don t 
answer it instantly," said Quilp in great glee. 



EEST, BUT NOT RUST. 411 

" I attend bar, and yet never drink intoxicating 
liquors," I replied. 

" Where do you attend bar, and for whom]" was 
the next question. 

" I attend the bar of this court, nearly every day, 
for the benefit of two-penny, would-be lawyers and 
their greedy clients," I answered. 

A loud tittering in the vicinity only added to the vex 
ation which was already visible on the countenance of 
my interrogator, and he soon brought his examination to 
a close. 

On another occasion, a young lawyer was pushing 
his inquiries to a great length, when, in a half laughing, 
apologetic tone, he said: 

" You see, Mr. Barnum, I am searching after the small 
things ; I am willing to take even the crumbs which fall 
from the rich man s table ! " 

"Which are you, Lazarus, or one of the dogs?" 
I asked. 

" I guess a blood-hound would not smell out much on 
this trail," he said good-naturedly, adding that he had 
no more questions to ask. 

I still continued to receive many offers of pecuniary 
assistance, which, whenever proposed in the form of a 
gift, I invariably refused. In a number of instances, 
personal friends tendered me their checks for $500, 
$1,000, and other sums, but I always responded in 
substance : " Oh, no, I thank you ; I do not need it ; my 
wife has considerable property, besides a large income 
from her Museum lease. I want for nothing ; I do not 
owe a dollar for personal obligations that is not already 
secured, and when the clock creditors have fully investi 
gated and thought over the matter, I think they will be 



412 BEST, BUT NOT BUST. 

content to divide my property among themselves and let 
me up." 

Just after my failure, and on account of the ill- 
health of my wife, I spent a portion of the summer 
with my family in the farmhouse of Mr. Charles Howell, 
at "Westhampton, on Long Island. The place is a mile 
west of Quogue, and was then called " Ketchebon- 
neck." The thrifty and intelligent farmers of the 
neighborhood were in the habit of taking summer 

O O 

boarders, and the. place had become a favorite resort. 
Mr. Howell s farm lay close upon the ocean and I found 
the residence a cool and delightful one. Surf bathing, 
fishing, shooting and fine roads for driving made the 
season pass pleasantly and the respite from active life and 
immediate annoyance from my financial troubles was a 
very great benefit to me. 

Our landlord was an eccentric character, who took 
great pleasure in showing me to his friends and neigh 
bors as u the Museum man," and consequently, as a great 
curiosity ; for in his estimation, the American Museum 
was chief among the institutions of New York. He 
was in a habit of gathering shells and such rarities as 
came within his reach, which he took to the city and 
disposed of at the Museum. He often spoke of certain 
phenomena in his neighborhood, which he thought 
would tafoe" well with the public, if they were prop 
erly ; brought out. One day he said : 

* 4 Mr. Barnum, I am going to Moriches this morning, 
and I want you to go along with me and see a great 
curiosity there is there." 

What is it ?" I asked. 

" It is a man who has got a natural c honk, " replied 
Howell, " and it is worth fifty dollars a year to him." 



BEST, BUT NOT BUST. 413 



"A what]" I inquired. 

" A honk ! a honk ! a perfectly natural honk ! he 
makes fifty dollars a year out of it," Howell reiterated. 

I could not comprehend what a " honk " was, but con 
cluded that if it was worth fifty dollars a year among 
the Long Island fishermen and farmers who could hardly 
be expected to pay much for mere sight-seeing, it would 
be much more valuable to exhibit in the Museum. So I 
remarked that as I was authorized by Messrs. Green 
wood and Butler to purchase curiosities for them, I 
would go with him and buy the honk from its possessor 
if I could get it at a reasonable price. 

" Buy it ! " exclaimed Howell ; "I guess you can t 
buy it ! You do n t seem to understand me ; the man 
has got a natural honk, I tell you ; that is, he honks 
exactly like a wild goose ; when flocks are flying over 
he goes out and honks and the geese, supposing that 
some goose has settled and is honking for the rest of 
the flock to come down and feed, all fly towards the 
ground and he lets into em with his gun, thus killing 
a great many, and in this way his honk is worth fifty 
dollars a year to him, and perhaps more." 

I decided not to attempt to buy the " honk," but my 
eagerness to do so and my entire ignorance of the char 
acter of the curiosity furnished food for laughter to 
Howell and his neighbors for a long time. 

One morning we discovered that the waves had 
thrown upon the beach a young black whale some 
twelve feet long. It was dead, but the fish was hard 
and fresh and I bought it for a few dollars from the 
men who had taken possession of it. I sent it at 
once to the Museum, where it was exhibited in a huge 
refrigerator for a few days, creating considerable excite- 
19* 



414: BEST, BUT NOT BUST. 

ment, the general public considering it " a big thing on 
ice," and the managers gave me a share of the profits, 
which amounted to a sufficient sum to pay the entire 
board bill of my family for the season. 

This incident both amused and amazed my Long 
Island landlord. "Well, I declare," said he, "that 
beats all ; you are the luckiest man I ever heard of. 
Here you come and board for four months with your fam 
ily, and when your time is nearly up, and you are getting 
ready to leave, out rolls a black whale on our beach, a 
thing never heard of before in this vicinity, and you 
take that whale and pay your whole bill with it ! I 
wonder if that ain t c providential 1 Why, that beats 
the natural honk all to pieces ! " This was followed 
by such a laugh as only Charles Ho well could give, and 
like one of his peculiar sneezes, it resounded, echoed, 
and re-echoed through the whole neighborhood. 

Soon after my return to New York, something 
occurred which I foresaw, I thought, at the time, was 
likely indirectly to lead me out of the wilderness into a 
clear field again, and, indeed, it eventually did so. 
Strange to say, my new city which had been my ruin 
was to be my redemption, and dear East Bridgeport 
which plunged me into the slough was to bring me out 
again. " Dear" as the place had literally proved to me, 
it was to be yet dearer, in another and better sense, 
hereafter. 

The now gigantic Wheeler & Wilson Sewing Machine 
Company was then doing a comparatively small, yet 
rapidly growing business at Watertovvn, Connecticut. 
The Terry Barnum clock factory was standing idle, 
almost worthless, in East Bridgeport, and Wheeler & 
Wilson saw in the empty building, the situation, the ease 



BEST, BUT NOT RUST. 415 

of communication with New York, and other advantages, 
precisely what they wanted, provided they could procure 
the premises at a rate which would compensate them 
for the expense and trouble of removing their establish 
ment from Watertown. It is enough to say here, that 
the clock factory was sold for a trifle and the Wheeler 
Wilson Company moved into it and speedily enlarged 
it. I felt then that this was providential ; the fact that 
the empty building could be cheaply purchased was the 
main motive for the removal of this Watertown enter 
prise to East Bridgeport, and was one of the first 
indications that my failure might prove a " blessing in 
disguise." It was a fresh impulse towards the building 
up of the new city and the consequent increase of the 
value of the land belonging to my estate. Many persons 
did not see these things in the same light in which 
they were presented to me, but I had so long pondered 
upon the various means which were to make the new 
city prosperous, that I was quick to catch any indication 
which promised benefit to East Bridgeport. 

This important movement of the Wheeler and Wil 
son Company gave me the greatest hope, and moreover, 
Mr. Wheeler kindly offered me a loan of $5,000, with 
out security, and as I was anxious to have it used in 
purchasing the East Bridgeport property, when sold at 
public auction by my assignees, and also in taking up 
such clock notes as could be bought at a reasonable per 
centage, I accepted the offer and borrowed the $5,000. 
This sum, with many thousand dollars more belonging 
to my wife, was devoted to these purposes. 

It seemed as if I had now got hold of the thread 
which would eventually lead me out of the labyrinth of 
financial difficulty in which the Jerome entanglement 



416 BEST, BUT NOT BUST. 

had involved me. Though the new plan promised relief, 
and actually did succeed, even beyond my most san 
guine expectations, eventually putting more money into 
my pocket than the Jerome complication had taken out 
yet I also foresaw that the process would necessarily 
be very sloiv. In fact, two years afterwards I had made 
very little progress. But I concluded to let the new 
venture work cflit itself and it would go on as well 
without my personal presence and attention, perhaps 
even better. Growing trees, money at interest, and rap 
idly rising real estate, work for their owners all night 
as well as all day, Sundays included, and when the pro 
prietors are asleep or away, and with the design of coop 
erating in the new accumulation and of saving some 
thing to add to the amount, I made up my mind to go 
to Europe again. I was anxious for a change of scene 
and for active employment, and equally desirous of get 
ting away from the immediate pressure of troubles 
which no effort on my part could then remove. While 
my --affairs were working out themselves in their own 
way and in the speediest manner possible, I might be 
doing something for myself and for my family. 

Accordingly, 1 leaving all my business affairs at home 
ih the hands of my friends, early in 1857 I set sail once 
more for England, taking with me General Tom Thumb, 
nhtl also little Cordelia Howard and her parents. This 
young girl had attained an extended reputation for her 
artistic personation of "Little Eva," in the play of 
" Uncle Tom," and she displayed a precocious talent in 
her rendering of other juvenile characters. With these 
attractions, and with what else I might be able to do 
myself, I determined to make as much money as I 
could, intending to remit the same to my wife s friends, 



BEST, BUT KOT KUST. 417 

for the purpose of repurchasing a portion of my estate, 
when it was offered at auction, and of redeeming such 
of the clock notes as could be obtained at reasonable 
rates. 




f * i >> loot j r i97i fc I ni fibnoli i y agat y^t 
t !)9TiiJO->O l>r>i{ jlJ^o 
^/pue oifl ai Jbovil 11^ 



>o.m to 
,1/j .fjonii. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

ABEOAD AGAIN. 

OLD FRIENDS IN OLD ENGLAND ALBERT SMITH AS A SHOWMAN HIS ASCENT 
OF MONT BLANC POPULARITY OF THE ENTERTAINMENT THE GARRICK CLUB 

" PHINEAS CUTECRAFT " THE ELEVEN THOUSAND VIRGINS OF COLOGNE 
UTILIZING INCIDENTS SUBTERRANEAN TERRORS A PANIC EGYPTIAN 
DARKNESS IN EGYPTIAN HALL WILLIAM M. THACKERAY HIS TWO VISITS 
TO AMERICA FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH THE NOVELIST I LOSE HIS SYM 
PATHY HIS WARM REGARD FOR HIS AMERICAN FRIENDS OTTO GOLD- 
SCHMIDT AND JENNY LIND GOLDSCHMIDT TENDER OF THEIR AID THE 
FORGED LIND LETTER BENEDICT AND BELLETTI GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA 

CHARLES KEAN EDMUND YATES HORACE MAYIIEVV GEORGE PEABODY 

MR. BUCKSTONE MY EXHIBITIONS IN ENGLAND S. M. PETTINGILL Mil. 
LUMLEY. 

ON arriving at Liverpool, I found that my old 
friends, Mr. and Mrs. Lynn, of the Waterloo Hotel, had 
changed very little during my ten years absence from 
England. Even the servants in the hotel were mainly 
those whom I left there when I last went away from 
Liverpool which illustrates, in a small way, how 
much less changeable, and more <; conservative " the 
English people are than we are. The old head-waiter, 
Thomas, was still head- waiter, as he had been for full 
twenty years. His hair was more silvered, his gait was 
slower, his shoulders had rounded, but he was as ready 
to receive, as I was to repeat, the first order I ever gave 
him, to wit: "Fried soles and shrimp sauce." 

And among my many friends in Liverpool and Lon 
don, but one death had occurred, and with only two 
exceptions they all lived in the same buildings, and pur- 



ABBOAD AGAIN. 419 

sued the same vocations as when I left them in 1847. 
When I reached London, I found one of these excep 
tions to be Mr. Albert Smith, who, when I first knew 
him, was a dentist, a literary hack, a contributor to 
Punch, and a writer for the magazines, and who was 
now transformed to a first-class showman in the full tide 
of success, in my own old exhibition quarters in Egyp 
tian Hall, Piccadilly. 

A year or two before, he had succeeded in reaching 
the top of Mont Blanc, and after publishing a most 
interesting account, which was re-published and trans 
lated into several languages, the whole world over, he 
concluded to make further use of his expedition by 
adapting it to a popular entertainment. He therefore 
illustrated his ascent by means of a finely painted and 
accurate panorama, and he accompanied the exhibition 
with a descriptive lecture full of amusing and interest 
ing incidents, illustrative of his remarkable experiences 
in accomplishing the difficult ascent. He also gave a 
highly- colored and exciting narrative of his entire jour 
ney from London to Switzerland, and back again, includ 
ing his trip up and down the Rhine, and introducing the 
many peculiar characters of both sexes, he claimed to 
have met at different points during his tour. These he 
imitated and presented in so life-like a manner, as to 
fairly captivate and convulse his audiences. 

It was one of the most pleasing and popular enter 
tainments ever presented in London, and was immensely 
remunerative to the projector, resulting, indeed, in 
a very handsome fortune. The entertainments were 
patronized by the most cultivated classes, for informa 
tion was blended with amusement, and in no exhibition 
then in London was there so much genuine fun. Two 

Miocf - afjjtniV oiit 



420 ABROAD AGAIIT. 

or three times Albert Smith was commanded to appear 
before the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and at Wind 
sor, and as he gave his entertainment with great success 
on these occasions, spite of the fact that he could not 
take his panorama with him, it can readily be imagined 
that the frame was quite as good as the picture, and 
that the lecture as compared with the panorama, admi 
rable as both were, was by no means the least part of the 
" show." 

Calling upon Albert Smith, I found him the same 
kind, cordial friend as ever, and he at once put me on 
the free list at his entertainment, and insisted upon my 
dining frequently with him at his favorite club, the 
Garrick. 

The first time I witnessed his exhibition he gave me 
a sly wink from the stage at the moment of his describ 
ing a scene in the golden chamber of St. Ursula s 
church in Cologne, where the old sexton was narrating 
the story of the ashes and bones of the eleven thou 
sand innocent virgins who, according to tradition, were 
sacrificed .on a certain occasion. One of the characters 
whom he pretended to have met several times on 
his trip to Mont Blanc, was a Yankee, whom he named 
" Phineas Cutecraft." The wink came at the time he 
introduced Phineas in the Cologne Church, and made 
him say at the end of the sexton s story about the 
Virgins bones : 

" Old fellow, what will you take for that hull lot of 
bones \ I want them for my Museum in America ! " 

When the question had been interpreted to the old 
German, he exclaimed in horror, according to Albert 
Smith : 

" Mine Gott! it is impossible! We will never sell 
the Virgins bones ! " 



ABROAD AGAIN. 421 

" Never mind." replied Phineas Cutecraft, " I ll send 
another lot of bones to my Museum, swear mine are 
the real bones of the Virgins of Cologne, and burst up 
your show ! " 

This always excited the heartiest laughter ; but Mr. 
Smith knew very well that I would at once recognize it 
as a paraphrase of the scene wherein he had figured 
with me in 1844 at the porter s lodge of Warwick 
Castle. In the course of the entertainment, I found he 
had woven in numerous anecdotes I had told him at 
that time, and many incidents of our excursion were 
also travestied and made to contribute to the interest of 
his description of the ascent of Mont Blanc. 

When we went to the Garrick club that day, Albert 
Smith introduced me to several of his acquaintances as 
his " teacher in the show business." As we were 
quietly dining together, he remarked that I must have 
recognized several old acquaintances in the anecdotes 
at his entertainment. Upon my answering that I did, 
"indeed," he remarked, "you are too old a showman 
not to know that in order to be popular, we must snap up 
and localize all the good things which we come across." 
By thus engraft ag his various experiences upon this 
Mont Blanc ente, tainment, Albert Smith succeeded in 
serving up a salmagundi feast, which was relished 
alike by royal and less distinguished palates. 

At one of the Egyptian Hall matinees, Albert Smith, 
espying me in the audience, sent an usher to me with 
a note of invitation to dine with him and a number of 
friends immediately after the close of the entertainment. 
To this invitation he added the request that as soon as 
he concluded his lecture I should at once come to him 
through the small door under the stage at the end of 



422 ABEOAD AGAIN. 

the orchestra, and by thus getting ahead of the large 
crowd of ladies and gentlemen composing the audience 
we should save time and reach the club at an hour for 
an early dinner. 

As soon as he uttered the last word of his lecture, I 
pushed for the little door, the highly distinguished 
audience, which on this occasion was mainly made up 
of ladies, meanwhile slowly progressing towards the 
exits, while the orchestra was " playing them out " with 
selections of popular music. Closing the stage door 
behind me, I instantly found myself enveloped in that 
Egyptian darkness which was peculiar, I suppose, if not 
appropriate, to that part of Egyptian Hall. I could 
hear Smith and his assistants walking on the stage 
over my head, but I dare not call out lest some nervous 
Duchess or Countess should faint under the appre 
hension that the hall was on fire, or that some other 
severe disaster threatened. 

Groping my way blindly and hitting my head several 
times against sundry beams, at last, to my joy, I 
reached the knob of the door which led me into this 
hole, but to my dismay it had been locked from the 
outside ! In feeling abaut, however, I discovered a 
couple of bell pulls, both of which I desperately jerked 
and heard a faint tinkling in two opposite directions. 
Next, I heard the heavy canvas drop-curtain roll down 
rapidly till it struck the stage with a thud. Then the 
music in the orchestra suddenly ceased, and I could 
readily understand by the shrieks of the women and 
the loud protestations of masculine voices that the gas 
had been turned off and the whole house left in dark 
ness. This was followed by hurried and heavy footsteps 
on the stage, the imprecations of stage carpenters and 



ABEOAD AGAIN. 423 

gasmen, jargon of foreign musicians in the orchestra, 
and the earnest voice of my friend Smith excitedly 
exclaiming: "Who rung those bells? why are we all 
left in the dark 1 Light up here at once ; bless my 
soul ! what does all this mean ? " 

I was amazed, yet amused and half alarmed. What 
to do, I did not know, so I sat still on a box which I 
had stumbled over., as well as upon, afraid to move or 
put out my hand lest I might touch some machinery 
which would give the signal for thurtder and lightning, 
or an earthquake, or more likely, a Mont Blanc 
avalanche. Restored tranquillity overhead assured me 
that the gas had been relighted. I knew Smith must be 
anxiously awaiting me, for he was not a man to be 
behind time when so important a matter as dinner was 
the motive of the appointment. Something desperate 
must be done ; so I carefully groped my way to the 
stage door again and with a strong effort managed to 
wrench it open. Covered with dust and perspiration I 
followed behind the rear of the out-going audience and 
found Smith, to whom I narrated my under-ground 
experiences. 

Brushes, water and towels soon put me once more in 
presentable condition and we went to the Garrick Club 
where we dined with several gentlemen of note. 
Smith could not refrain from relating my mishaps and 
their consequences in my search for him under diffi 
culties, and worse yet, under his stage, and great was 
the merriment over the idea that an old manager like 
myself should so lose his reckoning in a place with which 
he might well be supposed to be perfectly familiar. 

When the late William M. Thackeray made his first 
visit to the United States, I think in 1852, he called on 



424 ABEOAD AGAIN. 

me at the Museum with a letter of introduction from 
our mutual friend Albert Smith. He spent an hour 
with me, mainly for the purpose of asking my advice in 
regard to the management of the course of lectures on 
" The English Humorists of the Eighteenth Century," 
which he proposed to deliver, as he did afterwards, with 
very great success, in the principal cities of the Union. 
I gave him the best advice I could as to management, 
and the cities he ought to visit, for which he was very 
grateful and he called on me whenever he was in New 
York. I also saw him repeatedly when he came to 
America the second time with his admirable lectures on 
" The Four Georges," which, it will be remembered he 
delivered in the United States in the season of 1855-56, 
before he read these lectures to audiences in Great 
Britain. My relations with this great novelist, I am 
proud to say, were cordial and intimate ; and now, when 
I called upon him, in 1857, at his own house he 
grasped me heartily by the hand and said : 

" Mr. Barnum, I admire you more than ever. I have 
read the accounts in the papers of the examinations 
you underwent in the New York courts, and the posi 
tive pluck you exhibit under your pecuniary embarrass 
ments is worthy of all praise. You would never have 
received credit for the philosophy you manifest, if these 
financial misfortunes had not overtaken you." 

I thanked him for his compliment, and he continued : 

" But tell me, Barnum, are you really in need of pres 
ent assistance? for if you are you must be helped." 

" Not in the least," I replied, laughing ; " I need more 
money in order to get out of bankruptcy and I intend 
to earn it ; but so far as daily bread is concerned, I am 
quite at ease, for my wife is worth 30,000 or 40,000." 



ABKOAD AGAIN. 425 

t; Is it possible I " he exclaimed, with evident delight ; 
" well, now, you have lost all my sympathy ; why, that 
is more than I ever expect *to be worth ; I shall be 
sorry for you no more." 

During my stay in London, I met Thackeray several 
times, and on one occasion I dined with him. He was 
a most genial, noble-hearted gentleman. In our conversa 
tions he spoke with the warmest appreciation of Amer 
ica, and of his numerous friends in this country, and he 
repeatedly expressed his obligations to me for the 
advice and assistance I had given him on the occasion 
of his first lecturing visit to the United States. 

The late Charles Kean, then manager of the Princess s 
Theatre, in London, was also exceedingly polite and 
friendly to me. He placed a box at my disposal at all 
times, and took me through his theatre to show me the 
stage, dressing rooms, and particularly the valuable 
" properties " he had collected. Among other things, 
he had twenty or more complete suits of real armor and 
other costumes and appointments essential to the pro 
duction of historical plays, in the most complete and 
authentic manner. In the mere matter of stage-setting, 
Charles Kean has never been surpassed. 

Otto Goldschmidt, the husband of Jenny Lind, also 
called on me in London. He and his wife were then 
living in Dresden, and he said the first thing his wife 
desired him to ask me was, whether I was in want. I 
assured him that I was not, although I was managing to 
live in an economical way and my family would soon 
come over to reside in London. He then advised me to 
take them to Dresden, saying that living was very cheap 
there ; and, he added, " my wife will gladly look up a 
proper house for you to live in." I thankfully declined 



426 ABROAD AGAIN. 

his proffered kindness, as Dresden was too far away from 
my business. A year subsequent to this, a letter was 
generally published in the American papers, purporting 
to have been written to me by Jenny Lind, and proffer 
ing me a large sum of money. I immediately pronounced 
the letter a forgery, and I soon afterwards received a 
communication from a young reporter in Philadelphia 
acknowledging himself as the author, and saying that 
he wrote it from a good motive, hoping it would benefit 
me. On the contrary it annoyed me exceedingly. 

My old friends Julius Benedict and Giovanni 
Belletti, called on me and we had some very pleasant 
dinners together, when we talked over incidents of 
their travels in America. Among the gentlemen whom 
I met in London, some of them quite frequently at 
dinners, were Mr. George Augustus Sala, Mr. Edmund 
Yates, Mr. Horace Mayhew, Mr. Alfred Bunn, Mr. 
Lumley, of Her Majesty s Theatre, Mr. Buckstone, of 
the Haymarket, Mr. Charles Kean, our princely country 
men Mr. George Peabody, Mr. J. M. Morris, the manager, 
Mr. Bates, of Baring, Brothers & Co., Mr. Oxenford, 
dramatic critic of the London Times , Dr. Ballard, the 
American dentist, and many other eminent persons. 

I had numerous offers from professional friends on 
both sides of the Atlantic" who supposed me to be in 
need of employment. Mr. Barney Williams, who had 
not then acted in England, proposed in the kindest man 
ner to make me his agent for a tour through Great 
Britain, and to give me one-third of the profits which 
he and Mrs. Williams might make by their acting. Mr. 
S. M. Pettengill, of New York, the newspaper advertis 
ing agent, offered me the fine salary of $10,000 a year 
to transact business for him in Great Britain. He 



ABEOAD AGAIN. 427 

wrote to me : " when you failed in consequence of the 
Jerome clock notes, I felt that your creditors were 
dealing hard with you ; that they should have let you 
up and give you a chance, and they would have fared 
better and I wish I was a creditor so as to show what I 
would do." These offers, both from Mr. Williams and 
Mr. Pettengill, I was obliged to decline. 

Mr. Lumley, manager of Her Majesty s Theatre, used 
to send me an order for a private box for every opera night, 
and I frequently availed myself of his courtesy. I had 
an idea that much money might be made by transferring 
his entire opera company, which then included Piccolo- 
mini and Titjiens to New York for a short season. The 
plan included the charter of a special steamer for the 
company and the conveyance of the entire troup, includ 
ing the orchestra, with their instruments, and the chorus, 
costumes, scores, and properties of the company. It 
was a gigantic scheme, which would no doubt have been 
pecuniarily successful, and Mr. Lumley and I went so 
far as to draw up the preliminaries of an arrangement, 
in which I was to share a due proportion of the profits 
for my assistance in the management ; but after a while, 
and to the evident regret of Mr. Lumley, the scheme 
was given up. 

Meanwhile, I was by no means idle. Cordelia 
Howard as " Little Eva," with her mother as the 
inimitable " Topsy," were highly successful in London 
and other large cities, while General Tom Thumb, 
returning after so long an absence, drew crowded houses 
wherever he went. These were strong spokes in the 
wheel that was moving slowly but surely in the effort 
to get me out of debt, and, if possible, to save some 
portion of my real estate. Of course, it was not gener- 



428 ABEOAD AGAIN. 

ally known that I had any interest whatever in either of 
these exhibitions ; if it had been, possibly some of the 
clock creditors would have annoyed me ; but I busied 
myself in these and in other ways, working industri 
ously and making much money, which I constantly 

remitted to my trusty agent at home. 

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,0-fliHof) oj fy>>i[no -mir I Jii^ii .;./] 
,--.r!, joiiT (& }\\M. Toll to ryef^ujn 



fiodr doiiiv/ f 7rfisq<ao:) i.^ocjr- 
" 



mud :i\L ha* <Iiih* ttMift /i 

lo 8sh.Giiin(l n<{ -jjh ]J> /n;il; 
t IOO fC owb f: 91if&- Of-feJT/7 1 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

IN GERMANY. 

PROM LONDON TO BADEN-BADEN TROUBLE IN PARIS STRASBOURG SCENE 
IN A GERMAN CUSTOM-HOUSE A TERRIBLE BILL SIX CENTS WORTH OF 
AGONY GAMBLING AT BADEN-BADEN SUICIDES GOLDEN PRICES FOR 
THE GENERAL A CALL FROM THE KING OF HOLLAND THE GERMAN SPAS 
HAMBURG, EMS AND WIESBADEN THE BLACK FOREST ORCHESTRION 
MAKER AN OFFERED SACRIFICE THE SEAT OF THE ROTHSCHILDS 
DIFFICULTIES IN FRANKFORT A POMPOUS COMMISSIONER OF POLICE 
RED-TAPE AN ALARM HENRY J. RAYMOND CALL ON THE COMMIS 
SIONER CONFIDENTIAL DISCLOSURES HALF OF AN ENTIRE FORTUNE IN 
AN AMERICAN RAILWAY ASTOUNDING REVELATIONS DOWN TH1 RHINE 
DEPARTURE FOR HOLLAND. 

AFTER a pleasant and successful season of several 
weeks in London and in the provinces, I took the little 
General into Germany, going from London to Paris and 
from thence to Strasbourg and Baden-Baden. I had not 
been in Paris since the times of King Louis Philippe, 
and while I noticed great improvements in the city, in 
the opening of the new boulevards and the -erection of 
noble buildings, I could see also with sorrow that there 
was less personal liberty under the Emperor Napoleon 
III., than there was under the " Citizen King." The 
custom-house officials were overbearing and unne 
cessarily rigid in their exactions ; the police were over- 
watchful and intolerant; the screws were turned on 
everywhere. I had a lot of large pictorial placards of 
General Tom Thumb, which were merely in transitu, 
as I wished only to forward them to Germany to be 
used as advertisements of the forthcoming exhibitions. 

20 



430 IN GEllMANY. 

These the French custom-house officers determined to 
examine in detail, and when they discovered that one of 
the pictures represented the General in the costume of 
the First Napoleon, the whole of the bills were seized 
and sent to the Prefecture of Police. I was compelled 
to stay three days in Paris before I could convince the 
Prefect of Police that there was no treason in the Tom 
Thumb pictures. I was very glad to get out of Paris 
with my baggage and taking a seat in the express train 
on the Paris and Strasbourg railway I soon forgot my 
custom-house annoyances. 

One would suppose that by this time I had had 
enough to do with clocks to last me my lifetime, but 
passing one night and a portion of a day at Strasbourg, 
I did not forget or fail to witness the great church 
clock which is nearly as famous as the cathedral itself. 
At noon precisely a mechanical cock crows ; the bell . 
strikes ; figures of the twelve apostles appear and walk 
in procession ; and other extraordinary evidences of 
wonderful mechanical art are daily exhibited by this 
curious old clock. 

From Strasbourg we went to Baden-Baden. I had 
been abroad so much that I could understand and man 
age to speak French, but I had never been in Germany 
and I did not know six words of the language of that 
country. As a consequence, I dreaded to pass the cus 
tom-house at Kehl, nearly opposite Strasbourg, and 
the first town on the German border at that point. 
"When the diligence stopped at this place I fairly 
trembled. I knew that I had no baggage which was 
rightfully subject to duty, as I had nothing but my 
necessary clothing and the package of placards and 
lithographs illustrating the General s exhibitions. This 



IN GERMANY. 431 

was the package which had given me so much 
trouble in Paris, and as the official was examining my 
trunks, I assured him in French that I had nothing 
subject to duty ; but he made no reply and deliber 
ately handled every article in my luggage. He then 
cut the strings to the large packages of show bills. 
I asked him, in French, whether he understood that 
language. He gave a grunt, which was the only 
audible sound I could get out of him, and then laid 
my show bills and lithographs on his scales as if to 
weigh them. I was almost distracted, when an Eng 
lish gentleman who spoke German, kindly offered to 
act as my interpreter. 

u Please to tell him," said I, " that those bills and 
lithographs are not articles of commerce ; that they 
are simply advertisements." 

My English friend did as I requested; but it was 
of no use ; the custom-house officer kept piling them 
upon his scales. I grew more excited. 

" Please tell him I give them away," I said. The 
translation of my assertion into German did not help 
me ; a double grunt from the functionary was the only 
response. Tom Thumb, meanwhile, jumped about like 
a little monkey for he was fairly delighted at my worry 
and perplexity. Finally, I said to my new found Eng 
lish friend : " Be good enough to tell the officer to 
keep the bills if he wants them, and that I will not pay 
duty on them any how." 

He was duly informed of my determination, but he 
was immovable. He lighted his huge Dutch pipe, got 
the exact weight, and marking it down, handed it 
to a clerk, who copied it on his book, and solemnly 
passed it over to another clerk, who copied it on still 



432 IN GERMANY. 

another book ; a third clerk then took it, and copied it 
on to a printed bill, the size of a half letter sheet, which 
was duly stamped in red ink with several official devi 
ces. By this time I was in a profuse perspiration ; and 
as the document passed from clerk to clerk, I told them 
they need not trouble themselves to make out a bill for 
I would not pay it; they would get no duty and they 
might keep the property. 

To be sure, I could not spare the placards for any 
length of time, for they were exceedingly valuable to me 
as advertisements and I could not easily have duplicated 
them in Germany ; but I was determined that I would 
not pay duties on articles which were not merchandise. 
Every transfer, therefore, of the bill to a new clerk, gave 
me a fresh twinge, for I imagined that every clerk 
added more charges, and every charge was a tighter 
turn to the vise which held my fingers. Finally, the 
last clerk defiantly thrust in my face the terrible official 
document, on which were scrawled certain cabalistic 
characters, signifying the amount of money I should be 
forced to pay to the German government before I could 
have my property. I would not touch it; but resolved 
I would really leave my packages until I could commu 
nicate with one of our consuls in Germany, and I said 
as much to the English gentleman who had kindly inter 
preted for me. 

He took the bill, and examining it, burst into a loud 
laugh. " Why, it is but fifteen kreutzers ! " he said. 

"How much is that?" I asked, feeling for the gol 
den sovereigns in my pocket. 

" Sixpence ! " was the reply. 

I was astonished and delighted, and as I handed 
out the money, I begged him to tell the officials that 



IN GERMANY. 433 

the custom house charge would not pay the cost of 
the paper on which it was written. But this was a 
very fair illustration of sundry red-tape dealings in 
other countries as well as in Germany. 

I found Baden a delightful little town, cleaner and 
neater than any city I had ever visited. I learned after 
wards that Mr. Benazet, the lessee of the kurasal and 
gambling house, was compelled annually to expend 
large sums for keeping the streets and public places 
clean. Indeed, he could well afford to do so, as one 
would readily perceive upon witnessing the vast amounts 
of money which were daily lost by the men and women 
of nearly all nations, upon his tables of roulette and 
rouge et noir. 

The town has all the characteristics and accompani 
ments of a first-class watering-place, a theatre, pub 
lic library, and several very fine hotels. The springs 
are presumed to be the inducements which draw hun 
dreds of invalids to Baden-Baden every summer, but the 
gaming tables are the real attractions to thousands of 
far weaker persons who spend the entire season in 
gambling. It is no unusual thing to see ladies sitting 
around these gaming tables, betting their silver and gold 
pieces, until they lose five hundred or a thousand 
dollars, while men frequently " invest " many times 
these amounts. If they happen to be winners, they are 
very sure to be tempted to try again ; and thus in the 
long run succumb to the "advantage" which is given 
in the game to the bankers over the " betters." 

The games open at eleven o clock every morning, 
Sundays included, and close at eleven o clock at night. 
Players have been known to sit at the table, without 
once rising, even to eat or to drink, through the entire 



434 IN GERMANY. 

day and night session. Very early in the day, however, 
many a player finds himself penniless, and, in such case, 
if he does not step to some quiet place and blow his 
brains out, the proprietor of the " hell " will present to 
him money enough to carry him at least fifty miles from 
Baden-Baden. 

A few days before my arrival, a young lady hung her 
self. Indeed, several suicides occur in all the German 
spas every year from the one cause ruin by gambling ; 
but so callous do the players, as well as the card-dealers 
become, that I can easily credit a story told me at 
Homburg, the greatest gambling place in Europe : A 
Frenchman, sitting at the table where scores of others 
were betting their money, lost his last sou, and imme 
diately drew a razor from his pocket and cut his throat. 
The circumstance was scarcely sufficient to induce the 
players to raise their eyes from the cards ; it was a 
mere incident, an episode in matters more important. 
A sheet was thrown over the body, and as the servants 
quietly removed the corpse, some one slipped into 
the vacated chair, the dealer crying out in French, 
" make your bets, gentlemen," and the play went on as 
usual. 

In due time, when our preliminary arrangements were 
completed, the General s attendants, carriage, ponies 
and liveried coachman and footmen arrived at Baden- 
Baden and were soon seen in the streets. The excite 
ment was intense and increased from day to day. Sev 
eral crowned heads, princes, lords and ladies who were 
spending the season at Baden-Baden, with a vast num 
ber of wealthy pleasure seekers and travellers, crowded 
the saloon in which the General exhibited during the 
entire time we remained in the place. The charges 



IN GERMANY. 435 

for admission were much higher than had been demanded 
in any other city. 

Some time before I left America I received several 
letters from a young man residing in the Black Forest in 
regard to a wonderful orchestrion which he was building 
and which he wished to sell or send to me for exhibi 
tion. When he saw the accounts of my arrival with 
Tom Thumb at Baden-Baden, he announced his willing 
ness to bring his orchestrion and set it up in that place 
so that I could see and hear it. His letter was for 
warded to me at Frankfort and I replied that my engage 
ments were made many days in advance, that my time 
was invaluable, but that if he would have his orches 
trion set up and in perfect order at such a time on such 
a day I would be there promptly to see it. Arriving at 
the appointed time, I found that he had not completed 
his work. The beautiful case w r as up, but the interior 
was unfinished. I was much disappointed, but not 
nearly so much so as was the orchestrion builder. 

" Oh ! Mr. Barnum," said he, "I have worked with 
my men all last night and all to-day and I will work all 
night again and have it in readiness to-morrow morn 
ing. If you will only stay, I will go down on my knees 
to you ; yes, Mr. Barnum, I will cut off one of my fin 
gers for you, if you will only wait." 

But I could not wait, even under this strong and cer 
tainly extraordinary inducement, and was obliged to 
return to my engagements without hearing the orches 
trion, which, I afterwards learned, was sold and set up 
in St. Petersburg. 

From Baden-Baden we went to other celebrated Ger 
man Spas, including Ems, Homburg and Weisbaden. 

These are all fashionable gambling as well as vater- 
20* 



436 IN GERMANY. 

ing places, and during our visits they were crowded 
with visitors from all parts of Europe. Our exhibitions 
were attended by thousands who paid the same high 
prices that were charged for admission at Baden-Baden, 
and at Wiesbaden, among many distinguished persons, 
the King of Holland came to see the little General. 
These exhibitions were among the most profitable that 
had ever been given, and I was able to remit thousands 
of dollars to my agents in the United States to aid in 
re-purchasing my real estate and to assist in taking up 
such clock notes as were offered for sale. A short but 
very remunerative season at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, the 
home and starting-place of the great house of the Roths 
childs, assisted me largely in carrying out these pur 
poses. 

There was the greatest difficulty, however, in getting 
permission to hold our exhibitions in Frankfort. When 
I applied for a permit at the office of the Commissary 
of Police, I was told that office hours were ended for 
the day, and that the chief official, who alone could give 
me the permit, had gone home to dinner. As I was 
in a great hurry to begin, I went to the residence 
of the Commissary, where I was met at the door by 
a gorgeously arrayed flunkey, to whom I stated my 
business, and who informed me that I could on no 
account see the distinguished official till dinner was 
over. 

I waited one hour and a half by my watch for that 
mighty man to dine, and then he condescended to admit 
me to his presence. When I had stated my business, 
he demanded to know why I had not applied to him at 
his office in the proper hours, declaring that he would 
do no business with me at his house, and that I must 



IN GERMANY. 437 

come to him to-morrow. I went, and after a great deal 
of questioning and delay, I received the sought-for 
license to exhibit ; but I have never seen more red-tape 
wound up on a single reel. All my men, all Tom 
Thumb s attendants, the General and myself, in addition 
to showing our passports, were obliged to register ourj 
names, ages, occupations, and what not, in a huge book, 
and to answer all sorts of questions. At last we were 
permitted to go, and we opened our doors to the throng 
that came to see the General. 

But a day or two after our exhibitions began, came a 
messenger with a command that I should appear before 
the Commissary of Police. I was very much frightened, 
I confess ; I was sure that some of my men had been 
doing or saying something which had offended the 
authorities, and although I was conscious that my own 
conduct had been circumspect, I started for the police 
office in fear and trembling. On the way, I met Mr. 
Henry J. Eaymond, editor of the New York Times , who 
was in company with a gentleman from Ohio, to whom 
he introduced me, and thereupon I stated my trouble, 
and my opinion that I was about to be fined, imprisoned, 
possibly beheaded, I knew not what. 

"Don t be alarmed," said Mr. Raymond, "we will 
keep an eye on the proceedings, and if you get into 
trouble we will try to get you out. 

Arriving at head-quarters, I was solemnly shown into 
the private office of the Commissary who asked me to be 
seated, and then rose and locked the door. This move 
ment was by no means calculated to calm my agitation, 
and I at once exclaimed, in the best French I could 
summon : 

" Sir, I demand an interpreter." 



438 IN GERMANY. 

" We do not need one," he replied ; " I can under 
stand your French, and you can understand mine ; I 
wish to consult you confidentially on a very private 
matter, and one that concerns me deeply." 

Somewhat reassured at this remarkable announce 
ment, I begged him to proceed, which he did as follows : 

" Do not be uneasy, sir, as this matter wholly affects 
me ; I must state to you in entire secrecy that the half of 
my whole fortune is invested in the bonds of one of your 
American railways (giving me the name of the road), 
arid as I have received no interest for a long time I am 
naturally alarmed for the safety of my property. I wish 
to know if the road is good for anything, and if so, 
why the interest on the bonds is not paid." 

I was happy to tell him that I had met that very morn 
ing a gentleman from Ohio who was well acquainted 
with the condition of this road, which was in his vicinity 
at home, and that I would speedily derive from him the 
desired information. The Commissary overwhelmed me 
with profuse thanks, adding : " Remember, the half of 
my entire fortune is at stake." 

Impressed with the magnitude of the loss he might 
be called upon to suffer, I ventured, as I was going out, 
to ask him the amount of his investment. 

" Four thousand dollars," was the reply. 

When I thought of his livened lackeys, his house, his 
style, his dignity, and his enormous consequence, I could 
not but smile to think that all these things were sup 
ported on his small salary and an " entire " fortune of 
$8,000, one-half of which was invested in the bonds of 
a doubtful American railway company. 

We exhibited at Mayence and several other places in 
the vicinity, reaping golden harvests everywhere, and 



IN GERMANY. 439 

then went down the Ehine to Cologne. The journey 
down the river was very pleasant and we duly " did " 
the scenery and lions on the way. The boats were very 
ill-provided with sleeping, accommodations, and one 
night, as I saw our party must sit up, I suggested that 
we should play a social game of euchre if we could get 
the cards. The clerk of the boat was prompt in 
affording the gratifying intelligence that he had cards 
to sell and I bought a pack, paying him a good round 
price. Immediately thereafter, the clerk, pocketing the 
money, stated that " it was nine o clock and according to 
the regulations he must turn out all the lights " which 
he did, leaving us to play cards, if we wished to, in the 
dark. 

The slowness of the boat was a great annoyance and 
on one occasion I said to the captain : 

" Look here ! confound your slow old boat. I have 
a great mind to put on an opposition American line and 
burst up your business." 

He knew me. and knew something of Yankee enter 
prise, and he was evidently alarmed, but a thought came 
to his relief: 

" You cannot do it," he triumphantly exclaimed ; 
" the government will not permit you to run more than 
nine miles an hour." 

We remained at Cologne only long enough to visit 
the famous cathedral and to see other curiosities and 
works of art, and then pushed on to Rotterdam and 
Amsterdam. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

IN HOLLAND. 

THE FINEST AND FLATTEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SUPER-CLEANLINESS 
HABITS AND CUSTOMS " KREMIS " THE ALBINO FAMILY THE HAGUE 
AUGUST BELMONT JAPANESE MUSEUM MANUFACTURED FABULOUS ANIMALS 

A GENEROUS OFFER VALUABLE PICTURES AN ASTONISHED SUPERIN 
TENDENT BACK TO ENGLAND EXHIBITIONS IN MANCHESTER I RETURN 

-AGAIN TO AMERICA FUN ON THE VOYAGE MOCK TRIALS BARNUM AS 
A PROSECUTOR AND AS A PRISONER COLD SHOULDERS IN NEW YORK 
PREPARING TO MOVE INTO MY OLD HOME CARELESS PAINTERS AND CAR 
PENTERS IRANISTAN BURNED TO THE GROUND NEXT TO NO INSURANCE 

SALE OF THE PROPERTY ELIAS HOWE, JR. 

HOLLAND gave me more genuine satisfaction than 
any other foreign country I have ever visited, if I except 
Great Britain. Redeemed as a large portion of the whole 
surface of the land has been from the bottom of the sea 
by the wonderful dykes, which, are monuments of the 
industry of whole generations of human beavers, Hol 
land seems to me the most curious as well as interesting 
country in the world. The people, too, with their 
quaint costumes, their extraordinary cleanliness, their 
thrift, industry and frugality, pleased me very much. It 
is the universal testimony of all travellers that the Hol 
landers are the neatest and most economical people 
among all nations. So far as cleanliness is concerned, 
in Holland it is evidently not next to, but far ahead of 
godliness. It is rare, indeed, to meet a ragged, dirty, 
or drunken person. The people are very temperate and 
economical ip their habits ; and even the very rich, and 



IN HOLLAND. 441 

there is a vast amount of wealth in the country live 
with great frugality, though all of the people live well. 

As for the scenery I cannot say much for it, since it 
is only diversified by thousands of windmills, which are 
made to do all kinds of work, from grinding grain to 
pumping water from the inside of the dykes back to the 
sea again. As I exhibited the General only in Rotter 
dam and Amsterdam, and to no great profit in either 
city, we spent most of our time in rambling about to 
see what was to be seen. In the country villages it 
seemed as if every house was scrubbed twice and white 
washed once every day in the week, excepting Sunday. 
Some places were almost painfully pure, and I was in 
one village where horses and cattle were not allowed to 
go through the streets, and no one was permitted to wear 
their boots or shoes in the houses. There is a general 
and constant exercise of brooms, pails, floor brushes and 
mops all over Holland, and in some places even, this 
kind of thing is carried so far, I am told, that the only 
trees set out are scrub-oaks. 

The reason, I think, why our exhibitions were not 
more successful in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, is that 
the people are too frugal to spend much money for 
amusement, but they and their habits and ways afforded 
us so much amusement, that we were quite willing they 
should give our entertainment the " go by," as they gen- 
e*aliy did. We were in Amsterdam at the season of 
" Kremis," or the annual Fair which is held in all the 
principal towns, and where shows of all descriptions are 
open, at prices for admission ranging from one to five 
pennies, and are attended by nearly the whole popula 
tion. For the people generally, this one great holiday 
seems all-sufficient for the whole year. I went through 



44:2 IN HOLLAND. 

scores of booths, where curiosities and monstrosities of 
all kinds were exhibited, and was able to make some 
purchases and engagements for the American Museum. 
Among these, was the Albino family, consisting of a 
man, his wife, and son, who were by far the most inter 
esting and attractive specimens of their class I had ever 
seen. 

We visited the Hague, the capital and the finest city 
in Holland. It is handsomely and regularly laid out, 
and contains a beautiful theatre, a public picture-gallery, 
which contains some of the best works of Vandyke, 
Paul Potter, and other Dutch masters, while the museum 
is especially rich in rarities from China and Japan. 
When we arrived at the Hague, Mr. August Belmont, 
who had been the United States Minister at that court, 
had just gone home ; but I heard many encomiums 
passed upon him and his family, and I was told some 
pretty good stories of his familiarity with the king, and 
of the "jolly times " these two personages frequently 
enjoyed together. I did not miss visiting the great gov 
ernment museum, as I wished particularly to see the rich 
collection of Japan ware and arms, made during the 
many years when the Dutch carried on almost exclu 
sively the entire foreign trade with the Japanese. I 
spent several days in minutely examining these curious 
manufactures of a people, who were then almost as 
little known to nations generally as are the inhabitants 
of the planet Jupiter. 

On the first day of my visit to this museum, I stood 
for an hour before a large case containing a most 
unique and extraordinary collection of fabulous animals, 
made from paper and other materials, and looking as 
natural and genuine as the stuffed skins of any animals 



IN HOLLAND. 443 

in the American Museum. There were serpents two 
yards long, with a head and pair of feet at each end ; 
frogs as large as a man, with human hands and feet ; 
turtles with three heads ; monkeys with two heads and 
six legs; scores of equally curious monstrosities ; and at 
least two dozen mermaids, of all sorts and sizes. Look 
ing at these " sirens " I easily divined from whence the 
Fejee mermaid originated. 

While I was standing near this remarkable cabinet 
the superintendent of the Museum came, and, introduc 
ing himself to me, asked me from what country I came 
and how I liked the Museum. I told him that I was 
an American and that the collection was interesting and 
remarkable, adding : 

" You seem to have a great variety of mermaids here." 

" Yes," he replied ; " the Japanese exercise great 
ingenuity in manufacturing fabulous animals, especially 
mermaids ; and by the way," he added, " your great 
showman, Barnum, is said to have succeeded in hum 
bugging the Americans to a very considerable extent, 
by means of what he claimed to be a veritable mer 
maid." 

I said that such was the story, though I believed that 
Barnum only used the mermaid as an advertisement for 
his Museum. 

" Perhaps so," responded the superintendent, " but 
he is a shrewd and industrious manager. We have had 
frequent applications from his European agents for 
duplicates from our collection and have occasionally 
sold some to them to be sent to America." 

The superintendent then politely asked me to go into 
his office, as he had something to offer me, which, as 
an American gentleman, he was sure I would prize 



444 IN HOLLAND. 

Highly ,- but the business was of a strictly confidential 
character. He asked me to be seated, and cautiously 
locking the door and drawing his chair near to mine, he 
informed me in a tone scarcely above a whisper that 
he was the executor of the estate of a wealthy gentle 
man, recently deceased, with power to dispose of tho 
property, which included a large number of exceedingly 
valuable ancient and modern paintings. 

" You must be well aware," he continued, " that my 
countrymen would be extremely unwilling to permit 
these precious specimens of art to leave Holland, but," 
and here he gave my hand a slight but most friendly 
squeeze, " I have such a high respect, I might almost 
say reverence for your great republic that I am only 
too happy in the opportunity now afforded me of allow 
ing you to take a very few of these fine paintings to 
America at an unprecedentedly low price." 

I thought he was a little too generous, and I gave 
him what the Irishman called an " evasive answer ;" but 
this only seemed to stimulate him to further efforts to 
effect a sale, so he turned to his memorandum book 
and pointed out the names of gentlemen from Boston, 
Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Orleans, who had 
ordered one or more cases from this large gallery of 
paintings. This exhibition was conclusive, and I at 
once said that I would not decide to purchase till I 
returned from Amsterdam. I quite understood the 
whole thing ; but not to leave my anxious friend toe 
long in suspense I quietly handed my card to him, 
remarking, "Perhaps you have heard of that name 
before." 

His cheeks were fairly crimson ; " surely," said he, 
" you a.re not Mr. Barnum, of the New York Museum ? " 



IN HOLLAND. 445 

* Nobody else," I replied with a laugh. 

He stammered out an apology for his mermaid 
remarks, but I patted him on the shoulder in a friendly 
way, telling him it was " all right," and that I considered 
it a capital joke. This re-assured him and we then had 
a very pleasant half-hour s conversation, in which he 
gave me several valuable hints of curiosities to be pro 
cured at the Hague and elsewhere in Holland, and we 
parted good friends. 

A week afterwards, a young gentleman from Boston 
introduced himself to me at Amsterdam and remarked 
that he knew I was there for he had been so 
informed by the museum superintendent at the Hague. 
" And, by the by," he added, " as soon as this superin* 
tendent discovered I was from America, he told me if I 
would go into his office he would show me the greatest 
curiosity in the Museum. I went, and he pointed to the 
card of P. T. Barnum which he had conspicuously 
nailed up over his desk ; he then told me about your 
visit to the museum last week." 

" Did he sell you any paintings VI asked. 

" No," was the reply ; " but he informed me that as 
executor of an estate, including a fine gallery, he could 
sell me a few cases at a very low price, mainly on 
account of his high regard for the great republic to 
which I belonged." 

I have no doubt that this estate is still unsettled, 
and that a few of the valuable paintings, if cheap 
Dutch artists keep up the supply, are still for sale to 
the public generally, and to representatives of the 
revered republic especially. Undoubtedly this kind of 
business will continue so long as Waterloo relics are 
manufactured at Birmingham, and are sent to be 



4 > IN HOLLAND. 

plowed in and dug up again on the memorable field 
where Wellington met Napoleon. And how many 
very worthy persons there are, like the superintendent 
of the Hague Museum, who have been terribly shocked 
at the story of the Fejee Mermaid and the Woolly 
Horse ! 

After a truly delightful visit in Holland, we went 
back to England ; and, proceeding to Manchester, opened 
our exhibition. For several days the hall was crowded 
to overflowing at each of the three, and sometimes four, 
entertainments we gave every day. By this time, my 
wife and two youngest daughters had come over to 
London, and I hired furnished lodgings in the suburbs 
where they could live within the strictest limits of 
economy. It was necessary now for me to return for 
a few weeks to America, to assist personally in forward 
ing a settlement of the clock difficulties. So leaving 
the little General ia the hands of trusty and competent 
agents to carry on the exhibitions in rny absence, I set 
my face once more towards home and the west, and took 
steamer at Liverpool for New York. 

The trip, like most of the passages which I have 
made across the Atlantic, was an exceedingly pleasant 
one. These frequent voyages were to me the rests, the 
reliefs from almost unremitting industry, anxiety, and 
care, and I always managed to have more or less fun 
on board slyp every time I crossed the ocean. During 
the present trip, for amusement and to pass away the 
time, the passengers got up a number of mock trials 
which afforded a vast deal of fun. A judge was 
selected, jurymen drawn, prisoners arraigned, counsel 
employed, and all the formalities of a court established. 
I have the vanity to think that if my good fortune had 



IN HOLLAND. 447 

directed me to that profession I should have made a 
very fair lawyer, for I have always had a great fondness 
for debate and especially for the cross-examination of 
witnesses, unless that witness was P. T. Barnum in 
examination under supplementary proceedings at the 
instance of some note-shaver who had bought a clock 
note at a discount of thirty-six per cent. In this mock 
court, I was unanimously chosen as prosecuting attor 
ney, and as the court was established expressly to con 
vict, I had no difficulty in carrying the jury and secur 
ing the punishment of the prisoner. A small fine was 
generally imposed, and the fund thus collected was 
given to a poor sailor boy who had fallen from the mast 
and broken his leg. 

After several of these trials had been held, a dozen 
or more of the passengers secretly put their heads 
together and resolved to place the showman " on trial 
for his life. An indictment covering twenty pages was 
drawn up by several legal gentlemen among the passen 
gers, charging him with being the Prince of Humbugs, 
and enumerating a dozen special counts, containing 
charges of the most absurd and ridiculous description. 
Witnesses were then brought together, and privately 
instructed what to say and do. Two or three days 
were devoted to arranging this mighty prosecution. 
When everything was ready, I was arrested, and the 
formidable indictment read to me. I saw at a 
glance that time and talent had been brought into 
requisition, and that my trial was to be more elaborate 
than any that had preceded it. I asked for half a$ 
hour to prepare for my defence, which was granted. 
Meanwhile, seats were arranged to accommodate the 
court and spectators, and extra settees were placed for 



448 IN HOLLAND. 

the ladies on the upper deck, where they could look 
down, see and hear all that transpired. Curiosity was 
on tip-toe, for it was evident that this was to be a 
long, exciting and laughable trial. At the end of half 
an hour the judge was on the bench, the jury had 
taken their places ; the witnesses were ready ; the 
counsel for the prosecution, four in number, with pens, 
ink, and paper in profusion, were seated and everything 
seemed ready. I was brought in by a special constable, 
the indictrqent read, and I was asked to plead guilty, or 
not guilty . I rose, and in a most solemn manner stated 
that I could not conscientiously plead guilty or not 
guilty ; that I had in fact committed many of the acts 
charged in the indictment, but these acts I was ready 
to show were not criminal, but on the contrary, worthy 
of praise. My plea was received and the first witness 
called. 

He testified to having visited the prisoner s Museum, 
and of being humbugged by the Fejee Mermaid; the 
nurse of Washington ; and by other curiosities, natural 
and unnatural. The questions and answers having been 
all arranged in advance, everything worked smoothly. 
Acting as my own counsel, I cross-examined the witness 
by simply asking whether he saw anything else in 
the Museum besides what he had mentioned. 

" Oh ! yes, I saw thousands of other things." 

" Were they curious ? " 

" Certainly ; many of them very astonishing." 

" Did you witness a dramatic representation in the 
Museum ? " 

" Yes, sir, a very good one." 

" What did you pay for all this I " 

" Twenty-five cents." 



IN HOLLAND. 449 

" That will do, sir ; you can step down." 

A second, third and fourth witness were called, and 
the examination was similar to the foregoing. Another 
witness then appeared to testify in regard to another 
count in the indictment. He stated that for several 
weeks he was the guest of the prisoner at his country 
residence, Iranistan, and he gave a most amusing 
description of the various schemes and contrivances 
which were there originated for the purpose of being 
carried out at some future day in the Museum. 

" How did you live there ] " asked one of the counsel 
for the prosecution. 

" Very well, indeed, in the daytime," was the reply ; 
" plenty of the best to eat and drink, except liquors. 
In bed, however, it was impossible to sleep. I rose the 
first night, struck a light, and on examination found 
myself covered with myriads of little bugs, so small as 
to be almost imperceptible. By using my microsope I 
discovered them to be infantile bedbugs. After the first 
night I was obliged to sleep in the coach-house in order 
to escape this annoyance." 

Of course this elicited much mirth. The first ques 
tion put on the cross-examination was this : 

" Are you a naturalist, sir ? " 

The witness hesitated. In all the drilling that had 
taken place before the trial, neither the counsel nor wit 
nesses had thought of what questions might come up in 
the cross-examination, and now, not seeing the drift of 
question, the witness seemed a little bewildered, and the 
counsel for the prosecution looked puzzled. 

The question was repeated with some emphasis. 

" No, sir ! " replied the witness, hesitatingly, " I am 
not a naturalist." 



450 IN HOLLAND. 

" Then, sir, not being a naturalist, dare you affirm 
that those microscopic insects were not humbugs instead 
of bedbugs " ( here the prisoner was interrupted by a 
universal shout of laughter, in which the solemn judge 
himself joined) "and if they were humbugs, I sup 
pose that even the learned counsel opposed to me, will 
not claim that they were out of place ? " 

" They may have been humbugs," replied the witness. 

" That will do, sir you may go," said I; and at the 
same time turning to the array of counsel, I remarked, 
with a smile, " You had better have a naturalist for your 
next witness, gentlemen." 

" Do n t be alarmed, sir, we have got one, and we will 
now introduce him," replied the counsel. 
- The next witness testified that he was a planter from 
Georgia, that some years since the prisoner visited his 
plantation with a show, and that while there he discov 
ered an old worthless donkey belonging to the planter, 
and bought him for five dollars the next year the 
witness visited Iranistan, the country seat of the pris 
oner, and, while walking about the grounds, his old 
donkey, recognizing his former master, brayed ; " where 
upon," continued the witness, " I walked up to the 
animal and found that two men were engaged in 
sticking wool upon him, and this animal was afterwards 
exhibited by the prisoner as the woolly horse." 

The whole court spectators, and even the "pris 
oner" himself were convulsed with laughter at the 
gravity with which the planter gave his very ludicrous 
testimony. 

" What evidence have you," I inquired, " that this 
was the same donkey which you sold to me ? " 

"The fact that the animal recognized me, as was 
evident from his braying as soon as he saw me." 



IN HOLLAND. 451 

. 

* Are you a naturalist, sir 1 " 

" Yes, I am," replied the planter, with firm emphasis, 
as much as to say, you can t catch me as you did the 
other witness. 

"Oh! you are a naturalist, are you? Then, sir, I 
ask you, as a naturalist, do you not know it to be a fact 
in natural history that one jackass always brays as soon 
as he sees another ?" 

This question was received with shouts of laughter, 
in the midst of which the nonplussed witness backed 
out of court, and all the efforts of special constables, 
and even the high sheriff himself, were unavailing in 
getting him again on the witness stand. 

This trial lasted two days, to the great delight of all 
on board. After my success with the " naturalist " not 
one half of the witnesses would appear against me. In 
my final argument I sifted the testimony, analyzed its 
bearings, ruffled the learned counsel, disconcerted the 
witnesses, flattered the judge and jury, and when the 
judge had delivered his charge, the jury acquitted 
me without leaving their seats. The judge received the 
verdict, and then announced that he should fine the 
naturalist for the mistake he made, as to the cause of 
the donkey s braying, and he should also fine the several 
witnesses, who, through fear of the cross-fire, had 
refused to testify. 

The trial afforded a pleasant topic of conversation for 
the rest of the voyage ; and the morning before arriving 
in port, a vote of thanks was passed to me, in consid 
eration of the amusement I had intentionally and 
unintentionally furnished to the passengers during the 
voyage. 

After my arrival in New York, oftentimes in passing 
21 



452 IN HOLLAND. 

.CLXJUCEOH TO 

up and down Broadway I saw Id and prosperous friends 
coming, but before I came anywhere near them, if they 
espied me "they would dodge into a store, or across the 
street, or opportunely meet some one with whom they 
had pressing business, or they would be very much 
interested in something that was going on over the way 
or on top of the City Hall. I was delighted at this, for it 
gave me at once a new sensation and a new experience. 
"Ah, ha!" I said to myself; "my butterfly friends, I 
know you now ; and what is more to the point, if ever 
I get out of this bewilderment of broken clock-wheels, 
I shall not forget you " ; and I heartily thanked the old 
clock concern for giving me the opportunity to learn 
this sad but most needful lesson. I had a very few of 
the same sort of experiences in Bridgeport, and they 
proved valuable to me. 

Mr. James D. Johnson, of Bridgeport, one of my 
assignees, who had written to me that my personal pres 
ence might facilitate a settlement of my affairs, told me 
soon after my arrival that there was no probability of dis 
posing of Iranistan at present, and that I might as well 
move my family into the house. I had arrived in August 
and my family followed me from London in September, 
and October 20, 1857, my second daughter, Helen, was 
married in the house of her elder sister, Mrs. D. W. 
Thompson, in Bridgeport, to Mr. Samuel H. Hurd. 

Meanwhile, Iranistan which had been closed and unoc 
cupied for more than two years, was once more opened 
to the carpenters and painters whom Mr. Johnson sent 
there to put the house in order. He agreed with me 
that it was best to keep the property as long as possible, 
and in the interval, till a purchaser for the estate 
appeared, or till -it was forced to auction, to take up the 



IN HOLLAND. 453 

clock notes whenever they were offered. The workmen 
who were employed in the house were specially instructed 
not to smoke there, but nevertheless it was subsequently 
discovered that some of the men were in the habit occa 
sionally of going into the main dome to eat their dinners 
which they brought with them, and that they stayed 
there awhile after dinner to smoke their pipes. In all 
probability, one of these lighted pipes was left on the 
cushion which covered the circular seat in the dome and 
ignited the tow with which the cushion was stuffed. 
It may have been days and even weeks before this 
smouldering tow fire burst into flame. 

I was staying at the Astor House, in New York, when, 
on the morning of December 18, 1857, I received a 
telegram from my brother Phiio F. Barnum, dated at 
Bridgeport and informing me that Iranistan was burned 
to the ground that morning, The alarm was given at 
eleven o clock on the night of the 17th, and the fire 
burned till one o clock on the morning of the 18th. 
My beautiful Iranistan was gone ! This was not only 
a serious loss to my estate, for it had probably cost at 
least $150,000, but it was generally regarded as a public 
calamity. It was the only building in its peculiar style 
of architecture, of any pretension, in America, and many 
persons visited Bridgeport every year expressly to see 
Iranistan. The insurance on the mansion had usually 
been about $62,000, but I had let some of the policies 
expire without renewing them, so that at the time of the 
fire there was only $28,000 insurance on the property. 
Most of the furniture and pictures were saved, generally 
in a damaged state. 

Subsequently, my assignees sold the grounds and out 
houses of Iranistan to the late Elias Howe, Jr., the eel- 



454 IN HOLLAND. 

ebrated inventor of the needle for sewing-machines. 
The property brought $50,000, which, with the $28,000 
insurance, went into my assets to satisfy clock creditors. 
It was Mr. Howe s intention to erect a splendid mansion 
on the estate, but his untimely and lamented death pre 
vented the fulfilment of the plan. The estate (in 1869) 
was to be divided among Mr. Howe s three children and 
in all probability three houses will be built upon the 
beautiful grounds, 
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ti;dt Ofll 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

fif < MijjVjoI oil) .^hji^1nt? ^ni^ia-T00om Jtoig -jad^o 

THE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 

A.CK OXCE MORE TO ENGLAND TOUIt THROUGH SCOTLAND AND WALES HOTY 
I CAME TO LECTURE ADVICE OF MY FRIENDS MY LECTURE HOW TO MAKE 
MONEY AND HOW TO KEEP IT WHAT THE PAPERS SAID ABOUT ME PRAISE OF 
THE LONDON PRESS LECTURING IN THE PROVINCES PERFORMANCES AT 
CAMBRIDGE CALL FOR JOICE HETH EXTRAORDINARY FUN AT OXFORD 

THE AUDIENCE AND LECTURER TAKING TURNS A UNIVERSITY BREAK 
FAST MAGNIFICENT OFFER FOR A COPYRIGHT SUCCESS OF MY ENTERPRISE 

MORE MONEY FOR THE CLOCK CREDITORS. 

SEEING the necessity of making more money to 
assist in extricating me from my financial difficulties, 
and leaving my affairs in the hands of Mr. James D. 
Johnson- my wife and youngest daughter, Pauline, 
boarding with my eldest daughter, Mrs. Thompson, in 
Bridgeport early in 1858, I went back to England, 
and took Tom Thumb to all the principal places in 
Scotland and Wales, giving many exhibitions and mak 
ing much money which was remitted, as heretofore, to 
my agents and assignees in America. 

Finding, after a while, that my personal attention 
was not needed in the Tom Thumb exhibitions and 
confiding him almost wholly to agents who continued 
the tour through Great Britain, under my general 
advice and instruction, 1 turned my individual atten 
tion to a new field. At the suggestion of several Amer 
ican gentlemen, resident in London, I prepared a 
lecture on " The Art of Money-Getting." I told my 
friends that, considering my clock complications, I 



456 THE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 

thought I was more competent to speak on " The Art 
of Money Losing " ; but they encouraged me by remind 
ing me that I could not have lost money, if I had 
not previously possessed the faculty of making it. 
They further assured me that my name having been 
intimately associated with the Jenny Lind concerts and 
other great money-making enterprises, the lecture would 
be sure to prove attractive and profitable. 

The old clocks ticked in my ear the reminder that I 
should improve every opportunity to " turn an honest 
penny," and my lecture was duly announced for delivery 
in the great St. James Hall, Eegent Street, Picca 
dilly. It was thoroughly advertised a feature I never 
neglected and, at the appointed time, the hall, which 
would hold three thousand people, was completely filled, 
at prices of three and two shillings, (seventy-five and 
fifty cents,) per seat, according to location. It was the 
evening of December 29, 1858. Since my arrival in 
Great Britain the previous spring, I had spent months 
in travelling with General Tom Thumb, and now I was 
to present myself in a new capacity to the English pub 
lic as a lecturer. I could see in my audience all my 
American friends who had suggested this effort; all my 
theatrical and literary friends ; and as I saw several gen 
tlemen whom I knew to be connected with the leading 
London papers, I felt sure that my success or failure 
would be duly chronicled next morning. There was, 
moreover, a general audience that seemed eager to see 
the " showman " of whom they had heard so muc^i, and 
to catch from his lips the " art" which, in times past, 
had contributed so largely to his success in life. Stimu 
lated by these things, I tried to do my best, and I think 
I did it. The following is the lecture substantially as 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 457 

it was delivered, though it was interspersed with many 
anecdotes and illustrations which are necessarily omit 
ted; and I should add, that the subjoined copy being 
adapted to the meridian in which it has been repeatedly 
delivered, contains numerous local allusions to men and 
matters in the United States, which, of course, did not 
appear in the original draft prepared for my English 
audiences : 

THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

In the United States, where we have more land than 
people, it is not at all difficult for persons in good 
health to make money. In this comparatively new field 
there are so many avenues of success open, so many 
vocations which are not crowded, that any person of 
either sex who is willing, at least for the time being, to 
engage in any respectable occupation that offers, may 
find lucrative employment. 

Those who really desire to attain an independence, 
have only to set their minds upon it, and adopt the pro 
per means, as they do in regard to any other object 
which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily 
done. But however easy it may be found to make 
money, I have no doubt many of my hearers will agree 
it is the most difficult thing in the world to keep it. 
The road to wealth is, as Dr. Franklin truly says, " as 
plain as the road to mill." It consists simply in expend 
ing less than we earn ; that seems to be a very simple 
problem. Mr. Micawber, one of those happy creations 
of the genial Dickens, puts the case in a strong light 
when he says that to have an income of twenty pounds, 
per annum, and spend twenty pounds and sixpence, is 
to % the most miserable of men; whereas, to have an 



458 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

income of only twenty pounds, and spend but nineteen 
pounds and sixpence, is to be the happiest of mortals. 
Many of my hearers may say, " we understand this ; this 
is economy, and we know economy is wealth ; we know 
we can t eat our cake and keep it also." Yet I beg to 
say that perhaps more cases of failure arise from mis 
takes on this point than almost any other. The fact is, 
many people think they understand economy when they 
really do not. 

True economy is misapprehended, and people go 
through life without properly comprehending what that 
principle is. Some say, " I have an income of so much, 
and here is my neighbor who has the same ; yet every 
year he gets something ahead and I fall short ; why is 
it? I know all about economy." He thinks he does, 
but he does not. There are many who think that 
economy consists in saving cheese-parings and candle 
ends, in cutting off two pence from the laundress bill 
and doing all sorts of little, mean, dirty things. Econ 
omy is not meanness. The misfortune is also that this 
class of persons let their economy apply in only one 
direction. They fancy they are so wonderfully economi 
cal in saving a half-penny where they ought to spend 
two pence, that they think they can afford to squander 
in other directions. A few years ago, before kerosene oil 
was discovered or thought of, one might stop over night 
at almost any farmer s house in the agricultural districts 
and get a very good supper, but after supper he might 
attempt to read in the sitting room, and would find it 
impossible with the inefficient light of one candle. The 
hostess, seeing his dilemma, would say : " It is rather 
difficult to read here evenings ; the proverb says you 
must have a ship at sea in order to be able to burn two 

n 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 459 

candles at once ; we never have an extra caddie except 
on extra occasions." These extra occasions occur, 
perhaps, twice a year. In this way the good woman 
saves five, six, or ten dollars in that time ; but the 
information which might be derived from having the 
extra light would, of course, far outweigh a ton of 
candles. 

But the trouble does not end here. Feeling that she 
is so economical in tallow candles, she thinks she can 
afford to go frequently to the village and spend twenty 
or thirty dollars for ribbons and furbelows, many of 
which are not necessary. This false ecpnomy may fre 
quently be seen in men of business, and in those 
instances it often runs to writing paper. You find 
good business men who save all the old envelopes, and 
scraps, and would not tear a new sheet of paper, if 
they could avoid it, for the world. This is all very 
well ; they may in this way save five or ten dollars 
a year, but being so economical (only in note paper), 
they think they can afford to waste time ; to have 
expensive parties, and to drive their carriages. This 
is an illustration of Dr. Franklin s " saving at the 
spigot and wasting at the bung-hole " ; " penny wise 
and pound foolish." Punch in speaking of this " one- 
idea" class of people says " they a^ e like the man who 
bought a penny herring for his family s dinner and then 
hired a coach and four to take it home." I never knew 
a man to succeed by practising this kind of economy. 

True economy consists in always making the income 
exceed the out-go. Wear the old clothes a little longer 
if necessary ; dispense with the new pair of gloves ; 
mend the old dress ; live on plainer food if need be ; so 
that under all circumstances, unless some unforeseen 

21* 



460 THE ABT OF MONEY GETTING. 

accident occurs, there will be a margin in favor of the 
income. A penny here, and a dollar there, placed at 
interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the 
desired result is attained. It requires some training, 
perhaps, to accomplish this economy, but when once 
used to it, you will find there is more satisfaction 
in rational saving, than in irrational spending. Here 
is a recipe which I recommend ; I have found it to work 
an excellent cure for extravagance and especially for 
mistaken economy : When you find that you have 
no surplus at the end of the year, and yet have a good 
income, I advise you to take a few sheets of paper and 
form them into a book and mark down every item 
of expenditure. Post it every "day or week in two 
columns, one headed " necessaries " or even " comforts," 
and the other headed " luxuries," and you will find that 
the latter column will be double, treble, and frequently 
ten times greater than the former. The real comforts of 
life cost but a small portion of what most of us can earn. 
Dr. Franklin says "it is the eyes of others and not our 
own eyes which ruin us. If all the world were blind 
except myself I should not care for fine clothes or fur 
niture." It is the fear of what Mrs. Grundy may say 
that keeps the noses of many worthy families to the 
grindstone. In America many persons like to repeat 
44 we are all free and equal," but it is a great mistake 
in more senses than one. 

That we are born "free and equal" is a glorious 
truth in one sense, yet we are not all born equally 
rich, and we never shall be. One may say, " there is 
a man who has an income of fifty thousand dollars 
per annum, while I have but one thousand dollars ; 
I knew that fellow when he was poor like myself; 



tfHE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 461 

now he is rich and thinks he is better than I am ; 
I will show him that I am as good as he is ; I will 
go and buy ahorse and baggy ; no, I cannot do thai 
but I will go and hire one and ride this afternoon on 
the same road that he does, and thus prove to him 
that I am as good as he is." 

My friend, you need not take that trouble, you can 
easily prove that you are " as good as he is " ; you have 
only to behave as well as he does, but you cannot make 
anybody believe that you are as rich as he is. Besides, 
if you put on these " airs," and waste your time and 
spend your money, your poor wife will be obliged to 
scrub her fingers oif at home, and buy her tea two ounces 
at a time, and everything eke in proportion, in order 
that you may keep up " appearances," and after all, 
deceive nobody. On the other hand, Mrs. Smith may- 
say that her next-door neighbor married Johnson for 
his money, and " everybody says so." She has a nice 
one thousand dollar camel s hair shawl, and she will 
make Smith get her an imitation one and she will sit 
in a pew right next to her neighbor in church, in order 
to prove that she is her equal. 

My good woman you will not get ahead in the world, 
if your vanity and envy thus take the lead. In this 
country, where we believe the majority ought to rule, 
we ignore that principle in regard to fashion, and let a 
handful of people, calling themselves the aristocracy, 
run up a false standard of perfection, and in endeavor 
ing to rise to that standard, we constantly keep ourselves 
poor ; all the time digging away for the sake of outside 
appearances. How much wiser to be a " law unto our 
selves " and say, " we will regulate our out-go by our 
income, and lay up something for a rainy day." People 



462 THE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 

ought to be as sensible on the subject of money-getting 
as on any other subject. Like causes produce like effects. 
You cannot accumulate a fortune by taking the road 
that leads to poverty. It needs no prophet to tell us 
that those who live fully up to their means, without 
any thought of a reverse in this life, can never attain a 
pecuniary independence. 

Men and women accustomed to gratify every whim 
and caprice, will find it hard, at first, to cut down their 
various unnecessary expenses, and will feel it a great 
self denial to live in a smaller house than they have 
been accustomed to, with less expensive furniture, less 
company, less costly clothing, fewer servants, a less 
number of balls, parties, theatre goings, carriage ridings, 
pleasure excursions, cigar smokings, liquor drinkings, 
and other extravagances ; but, after all, if they will try 
the plan of laying by a " nest-egg," or in other words, a 
small sum of money, at interest or judiciously invested 
in land, they will be surprised at the pleasure to be 
derived from constantly adding to their little " pile," as 
well as from all the economical habits which are 
engendered by this course. 

The old suit of clothes, and the old bonnet and dres^, 
will answer for another season ; the Croton or spring 
water will taste better than-champagne ; a cold bath and 
a brisk walk will prove more exhilarating than a ride in 
the finest coach ; a social chat, an evening s reading in 
the family circle, or an hour s play of " hunt the slip 
per " and " blind man s buff," will be far more pleasant 
than a fifty or a five hundred dollar party, when the 
reflection on the difference in cost is indulged in by 
those who begin to know the pleasures of saving. 
Thousands of men are kept poor, and tens of thou- 



THE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 463 

ands are made so after they have acquired quite suffi 
cient to support them well through life, in consequence 
of laying their plans of living on too broad a platform. 
Some families expend twenty thousand dollars per 
annum, and some much more, and would scarcely know 
how to live on less, while others secure more solid 
enjoyment frequently on a twentieth part of that 
amount. Prosperity is a more severe ordeal than 
adversity, especially sudden prosperity. " Easy come, 
easy go," is an old and true proverb. A spirit of 
pride and vanity, when permitted to have full sway, 
is the undying . canker worm which gnaws the very 
vitals of a man s worldly possessions, let them be 
small or great, hundreds or millions. Many persons, 
as they begin to prosper, immediately expand their 
ideas and commence expending for luxuries, until in 
a short time their expenses swallow up their income, 
and they become ruined in their ridiculous attempts 
to keep up appearances, and make a " sensation." 

I know a gentleman of fortune who says, that when 
he first began to prosper, his wife would have a new 
and elegant sofa. " That sofa," he says, " cost me 
thirty thousand dollars ! " When the sofa reached the 
house, it was found necessary to get chairs to match ; 
then side-boards, carpets and tables " to correspond " 
with them, and so on through the entire stock of furni 
ture ; when at last it was found that the house itself 
was quite too small and old-fashioned for the furniture, 
and a new one was built to correspond with the new 
purchases ; " thus," added my friend, " summing up an 
outlay of thirty thousand dollars caused by that single 
sofa, and saddling on me, in the shape of servants, equi 
page, and the necessary expenses attendant upon keep- 



464 THE AIIT OF MONEY GETTING. 

ing up a fine establishment, a yearly outlay of eleven 
thousand dollars, and a tight pinch at that ; whereas, 
ten years ago, we lived with much more real comfort, 
because with much less care, on as many hundreds. 
The truth is," he continued, " that sofa would have 
brought me to inevitable bankruptcy, had not a most 
unexampled tide of prosperity kept me above it, and 
had I not checked the natural desire to * cut a dash. 

The foundation of success in life is good health ; that 
is the substratum of fortune ; it is also the basis of hap 
piness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very 
well when he is sick. He has no ambition ; no incen 
tive ; no force. Of course, there are those who have 
bad health and cannot help it ; you cannot expect that 
such persons can accumulate wealth ; but there are a 
great many in poor health who need not be so. 

If, then, sound health is the foundation of success 
and happiness in life, how important it is that we 
should study the laws of health, which is but another 
expression for the laws of nature ! The closer we keep 
to the laws of nature, the nearer we are to good health, 
and yet how many persons there are who pay no atten 
tion to natural laws, but absolutely transgress them, 
even against their own natural inclination. We ought 
to know that the " sin of ignorance " is never winked at 
in regard to the violation of nature s laws ; their infrac 
tion always brings the penalty. A child may thrust its 
finger into the flame without knowing it will burn, and 
so suffers ; repentance even will not stop the smart. 
Many of our ancestors knew very little about the prin 
ciple of ventilation. They did not know much about 
oxygen, whatever other " gin " they might have been 
acquainted with; and consequently, they built their 



TH$) ART OF MOKEY GETTING. 465 

houses with little seven-by-nine feet bedrooms, and 
these good old pious Puritans would lock themselves 
up in one of these cells, say their prayers, and go to 
bed. In the morning they would devoutly return 
thanks for the " preservation of their lives," during the 
night, and nobody had better reason to be thankful. 
Probably some big crack in the window, or in the door, 
let in a little fresh air, and thus saved them. 

Many persons knowingly violate the laws of nature 
against their better impulses, for the sake of fashion. 
For instance, there is one thing that nothing living 
except a vile worm ever naturally loved, and that is 
tobacco ; yet how many persons there are who deliber 
ately train an unnatural appetite, and overcome this 
implanted aversion for tobacco, to such a degree that 
they get to love it. They have got hold of a poisonous, 
filthy weed, or rather that takes a firm hold of them. 
Here are married men who run about spitting tobacco 
juice on the carpet and floors, and sometimes even upon 
their wives besides. They do not kick their wives out 
of doors like drunken men, but their wives, I have no 
doubt, often wish they were outside of the house. 
Another perilous feature is that this artificial appetite, 
like jealousy, " grows by what it feeds on " ; when you 
love that which is unnatural, a stronger appetite is 
created for the hurtful thing than the natural desire for 
what is harmless. There is an old proverb which says 
that "habit is second nature," but an artificial habit is 
stronger than nature. Take for instance an old tobacco- 
chewer ; his love for the " quid " is stronger than his 
love for any particular kind of food. He can give up 
roast beef easier than give up the weed. 

Young lad regret that they are not men ; they 



466 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

would like to go to bed boys and wake up men; 
and to accomplish this they copy the bad habits of 
their seniors. Little Tommy and Johnny see their 
fathers or uncles smoke a pipe and they say, " If I 
could only do that I would be a man too ; uncle John 
has gone out and left his pipe of tobacco, let us try it." 
They take a match and light it, and then puff away. 
"We will learn to smoke; do you like it Johnny?" 
That lad dolefully replies : " Not very much ; it tastes 
bitter " ; by and by he grows pale, but he persists, and 
he soon offers up a sacrifice on the altar of fashion ; but 
the boys stick to it and persevere until at last they 
conquer their natural appetites and become the victims 
of acquired tastes. 

I speak " by the book," for I have noticed its effects 
on myself, having gone so far as to smoke ten or fifteen 
cigars a day, although I have not used the weed during 
the last fourteen years, and never shall again. The 
more a man smokes, the more he craves smoking ; the 
last cigar smoked, simply excites the desire for another, 
and so on incessantly. 

Take the tobacco-chewer. In the morning when he 
gets up, he puts a quid in his mouth and keeps it there 
all day, never taking it out except to exchange it for 
a fresh one, or when he is going to eat ; oh ! yes, at 
intervals during the day and evening, many a chewer 
takes out the quid and holds it in his hand long enough 
to take a drink, and then pop it goes back again. This 
simply proves that the appetite for rum is even stronger 
than that for tobacco. When the tobacco chewer goes 
to your country seat and you show him your grapery 
and fruit house and the beauties of your garden, when 
you offer him some fresh, ripe fruit, and say, " My friend, 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 467 

I have got here the most delicious apples and pears 
and peaches and apricots ; I have imported them from 
Spain, France and Italy, just see those luscious grapes ; 
there is nothing more delicious nor more healthy than 
ripe fruit, so help yourself ; I want to see you delight 
yourself with these things," he will roll the dear quid 
under his tongue and answer, " No, I thank you, I have 
got tobacco in my mouth." His palate has become nar 
cotized by the noxious weed, and he has lost, in a 
great measure, the delicate and enviable taste for fruits. 
This shows what expensive, useless and injurious hab 
its men will get into. I speak from experience. I 
have smoked until I trembled like an aspen leaf, the 
blood rushed to my head, and I had a palpitation of the 
heart which I thought was heart disease, till I was 
almost killed with fright. When I consulted my phy 
sician, he said " break off tobacco using." I was not 
only injuring my health and spending a great deal of 
money, but I was setting a bad example. I obeyed his 
counsel. No young man in the world ever looked so 
beautiful, as he thought he did. behind a fifteen cent 
cigar or a meerschaum ! 

These remarks apply with ten-fold force to the use 
of intoxicating drinks. To make money, requires a 
clear brain. A man has got to see that two and two 
make four ; he must lay all his plans with reflection 
and forethought, and closely examine all the details and 
the ins and outs of business. As no man can suc 
ceed in business unless he has a brain to enable him to 
lay his plans, and reason to guide him in their execu 
tion, so, no matter how bountifully a man may bP 
blessed with intelligence, if the brain is muddled, and 
his judgment warped by intoxicating drinks, it is 



468 THE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 

impossible for him to carry on business successfully. 
How many good opportunities have passed, never to 
return, while a man was sipping a " social glass," with 
his friend ! How many foolish bargains have been made 
under the influence of the " nervine," which temporarily 
makes its victim think he is rich. How many import 
ant chances have been put off until to-morrow, and then 
forever, because the wine cup has thrown the system 
into a state of lassitude, neutralizing the energies so 
essential to success in business. Verily " wine is a 
mocker." The use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, 
is as much an infatuation, as is the smoking of opium 
by the Chinese, and the former is quite as destructive 
to the success of the business man as the latter. It is 
an unmitigated evil, utterly indefensible in the light of 
philosophy, religion, or good sense. It is the parent of 
nearly every other evil in our country. 

Do N T MISTAKE YOUR VOCATION. The safest plan, 
and the one most sure of success for the young man 
starting in life, is to select the vocation which is most 
congenial to his tastes. Parents and guardians are often 
quite too negligent in regard to this. It is very com 
mon for a father to say, for example : "I have five boys. 
I will make Billy a clergyman ; John a lawyer ; Tom a 
doctor, and Dick a farmer." He then goes into town 
and looks about to see what he will do with Sammy. 
He returns home and says " Sammy, I see watch-making 
is a nice, genteel business ; I think I will make you a 
goldsmith." He does this regardless of Sam s natural 
inclinations, or genius. 

We are all, no doubt, born for a wise purpose. 
There is as much diversity in our brains as in our coun 
tenances. Some are born natural mechanics, while 



THE AKT OF MONEY GETTING. 469 

some have great aversion to machinery. Let a dozen 
boys of ten years get together and you will soon observe 
two or three are " whittling " out some ingenious device ; 
working with locks or complicated machinery. When 
they were but five years old, their father could find no 
toy to please them like a puzzle. They are natural 
mechanics ; but the other eight or nine boys have differ 
ent aptitudes. I belong to the latter class ; I never 
had the slightest love for mechanism ; on the contrary 3 
I have a sort of abhorrence for complicated machinery. 
I never had ingenuity enough to whittle a cider tap se 
it would not leak. I never could make a pen that I 
could write with, or understand the principle of a steam 
engine. If a man was to take such a boy as I was and 
attempt to make a watchmaker of him, the boy might, 
after an apprenticeship of five or seven years, be able 
to take apart and put together a watch ; but all through 
life he would be working up hill and seizing every 
excuse for leaving his work and idling away his time. 
Watch making is repulsive to him. 

Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for 
him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he 
cannot succeed. I am glad to believe that the majority 
of persons do find the right vocation. Yet we see many 
who have mistaken their calling, from the blacksmith 
up (or down) to the clergyman. You will see for 
instance, that extraordinary linguist the " learned black 
smith," who ought to have been a teacher of languages ; 
and you may have seen lawyers, doctors and clergymen 
who were better fitted by nature for the anvil or the lap- 
stone. 

SELECT THE RIGHT LOCATION. After securing the 
right vocation, you must be careful to select the proper 



470 THE ART OF MOHEY GETTING. 

location. You may have been cut out for a hotel 
keeper, and they say it requires a genius to " know how 
to keep a hotel." You might conduct a hotel like clock 
work, and provide satisfactorily for five hundred guests 
every day ; yet, if you should locate your house in a 
small village where there is no railroad communication 
or public travel, the location would be your ruin. It is 
equally important that you do not commence business 
where there are already enough to.meet all demands in 
the same occupation. I remember a case which illus 
trates this subject. When I was in London in 1858, I 
was passing down Holborn with an English friend and 
came to the " penny shows." They had immense car 
toons outside, portraying the wonderful curiosities to be 
seen " all for a penny." Being a little in the " show 
line " myself, I said " let us go in here." We soon 
found ourselves in the presence of the illustrious show 
man, and he proved to be the sharpest man in that line 
I had ever met. He told us some extraordinary stories 
in reference to his bearded ladies, his Albinos, and his 
Armadillos, which we could hardly believe, but thought 
it " better to believe it than look after the proof." He 
finally begged to call our attention to some wax statuary, 
and showed us a lot of the dirtiest and filthiest wax 
figures imaginable. They looked as if they had not 
seen water since the Deluge. 

" What is there so wonderful about your statuary?" 
I asked. 

" I beg you not to speak so satirically," he replied, 
" Sir, these are not Madam Tussaud s wax figures, all 
covered with gilt and tinsel, and imitation diamonds, and 
copied from engravings and photographs. Mine, sir, 
were taken from life. Whenever you look upon one of 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 471 

those figures, you may consider that you are looking 
upon the living individual." 

Glancing casually at them, I saw one labelled " Henry 
VIII.," and feeling a little curious upon seeing that it 
looked like Calvin Edson, the living skeleton, I said : 

Do you call that Henry the Eighth ] " 

He replied, " Certainly, sir ; it was taken from life at 
Hampton Court by special order of his majesty, on such 
a day." 

He would have given the hour of the day if I had 
insisted ; I said " everybody knows that Henry VIII, 
was a great stout old king, and that figure is lean and 
lank ; what do you say to that 1 " 

<{ Why," he replied, " you would be lean and lank 
yourself, if you sat there as long as he has." 

There was no resisting such arguments. I said to 
my English friend., " Let us go out ; do not tell him 
who I am ; I show the white feather ; he beats me." 

He followed us to the door, and seeing the rabble in 
the street he called out, " ladies and gentlemen, I beg 
to draw your attention to the respectable character of 
my visitors," pointing to us as we walked away. I 
called upon him a couple of days afterwards ; told him 
who I was, and said : 

" My friend, you are an excellent showman, but you 
have selected a bad location." 

He replied, "This is true, sir; I feel that all my 
talents are thrown away ; but what can I do ? " 

" You can go to America," I replied. " You can give 
full play to your faculties over there ; you will find 
plenty of elbow room in America ; I will engage you 
for two years ; after that you will be able to go o* 
your own account." 



472 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

He accepted my offer and remained two years in 
my New York Museum. He then went to New Or 
leans and carried on a travelling show business during 
the summer. To-day he is worth sixty thousand dol 
lars, simply because he selected the right vocation and 
also secured the proper location. The old proverb 
says, " Three removes are as bad as a fire," but when a 
man is in the fire, it matters but little how soon or 
how often he removes. 

AVOID DEBT, Young men starting in life should 
avoid running into debt. There is scarcely anything 
that drags a person down like debt. It is a slavish 
position to get in, yet we find many a young man 
hardly out of his " teens " running in debt. He meets 
a chum and says, ;< Look at this ; I have got trusted for 
a new suit of clothes." He seems to look upon the 
clothes as so much given to him ; well, it frequently is 
so, but, if he succeeds in paying and then gets trusted 
again, he is adopting a habit which will keep him in 
poverty through life. Debt robs a man of his self re 
spect, and makes him almost despise himself. Grunt 
ing and groaning and working for what he has eaten 
up or worn out, and now when he is called upon to 
pay up, he has nothing to show for his money ; this is 
properly termed " working for a dead horse." I do not 
speak of merchants buying and selling on credit, or of 
those who buy on credit in order to turn the purchase 
to a profit. The old Quaker said to his farmer son, 
" John, never get trusted ; but if thee gets trusted for 
anything, let it be for manure/ because that will help 
thee pay it back again." 

Mr. Beecher advised young men to get in debt if 
they could to a small amount in the purchase of land in 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 473 

the country districts. " If a young man," he says, 
" will only get in debt for some land and then get mar 
ried, these two things will keep him straight, or noth 
ing will." This may be safe to a limited extent, but 
getting in debt for what you eat and drink and wear is 
to be avoided. Some families have a foolish habit of 
getting credit at " the stores," and thus frequently 
purchase many things which might have been dispensed 
with. 

It is all very well to say, " I have got trusted for sixty 
days, and if I do n t have the money, the creditor will 
think nothing about it." There is no class of people 
in the world who have such good memories as credit 
ors. When the sixty days run out, you will have to 
pay. If you do not pay, you will break your promise 
and probably resort to a falsehood. You may make 
some excuse or get in debt elsewhere to pay it, but that 
only involves you the deeper. 

A good looking, lazy young fellow, was the apprentice 
boy Horatio. His employer said, " Horatio, did you ever 
see a snail ? " "I think I have," he drawled out. 
" You must have met him then, for I am sure you never 
overtook one," said the " boss." Your creditor will 
meet you or overtake you and say, " Now, my young 
friend, you agreed to pay me ; you have not done it, you 
, must give me your note." You give the note on interest 
and it commences working against you ; "it is a dead 
horse." The creditor goes to bed at night and wakes 
up in the morning better off than when he retired to 
bed because his interest has increased during the night, 
but you grow poorer while you are sleeping, for the 
interest is accumulating against you. 

Money is in some respects like fire it is a very 



474: THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

excellent servant but a terrible master. When you 
have it mastering you, when interest is constantly piling 
up against you, it will keep you down in the worst kind 
of slavery. But let money work for you, and you have 
the most devoted servant in the world. It is no " eye- 
servant." There is nothing animate or inanimate that 
will work so faithfully as money when placed at interest, 
well secured. It works night arid day, and in wet or 
dry weather. 

I was born in the blue law State of Connecticut, 
where the old Puritans had laws so rigid that it was said, 
" they fined a man for kissing his wife on Sunday." 
Yet these rich old Puritans would have thousands of 
dollars at interest, and on Saturday night would be 
worth a certain amount ; on Sunday they would go to 
church and perform all the duties of a Christian. On 
waking up on Monday morning, they would find them 
selves considerably richer than the Saturday night 
previous, simply because their money placed at interest 
had worked faithfully for them all day Sunday, according 
to law ! 

Do not let it work against you ; If you do, there is 
no chance for success in life so far as money is con 
cerned. John Randolph, the eccentric Virginian, once 
exclaimed in Congress, " Mr. Speaker, I have discovered 
the philosopher s stone : pay as you go." This is 
indeed nearer to the philosopher s stone than any 
alchemist has ever yet arrived. 

PERSEVERE. When a man is in the right path, he 
must persevere. I speak of this because there are 
some persons who are " born tired " ; naturally lazy and 
possessing no self reliance and no perseverance. But, 
they can cultivate these qualities, as iJavy Crockett said : 



AET OF MONEY GETTING. 475 

" This thing remember, when I am dead, 
Be sure you are right, then go ahead." 

It is this go-aheaditivencss, this determination not 
to let the "horrors " or the "blues" take possession 
of you, so as to make you relax your energies in the 
struggle for independence, which you must cultivate. 

How many have almost reached the goal of their 
ambition, but losing faith in themselves have relaxed 
their energies, and the golden prize has been lost 
forever. 

It is, no doubt, often true, as Shakespeare says : 

" There is a tide in the affairs of men, 
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." 

If you hesitate, some bolder hand will stretch out 
before you and get the prize. Remember the proverb 
of Solomon : " He becometh poor that dealeth with a 
slack hand ; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich." 

Perseverance is sometimes but another word for self- 
reliance. Many persons naturally look on the dark side 
of life, and borrow trouble. They are born so. Then 
they ask for advice, and they will be governed by one 
wind and blown by another, and cannot rely upon 
themselves. Until you get so that you can rely 
upon yourself, you need not expect to succeed. I have 
known men personally who have met with pecuniary 
reverses, and absolutely committed suicide, because they 
thought they could never overcome their misfortune. 
But I have known others who have met more serious 
financial difficulties, and have bridged them over by 
simple perseverance, aided by a firm belief that they 
were doing justly, and that Providence would " over 
come evil with good." You will see this illustrated in 
any sphere of life. 
22 



4:76 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

Take two Generals ; both understand military tactics, 
both educated at West Point, if you please, both 
equally gifted ; yet one, having this principle of persever 
ance, and the other lacking it, the former will succeed 
in his profession, while the latter will fail. One may 
hear the cry, the enemy are coming, and they have 



got cannon. 



"Got cannon?" says the hesitating General. 

"Yes."- &fili 

" Then halt every man." 

He wants time to reflect ; his hesitation is his ruin. 
The enemy passes unmolested, or overwhelms him. 
The General 0f pluck, perseverance and self reliance 
goes into battle with a will, and amid the clash of arms, 
the booming of cannon, and the shrieks of the wounded 
and dying, you will see this man persevering, going on, 
cutting and slashing his way through with unwavering 
determination, and if you are near enough, you will 
hear him shout, " I will fight it out on this line if it 
takes all summer." 

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT. 
Work at it, if necessary, early and late, in season and 
out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never 
deferring for a single hour that which can be done just 
as well now. The old proverb is full of truth and mean 
ing, " Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing 
well." Many a man acquires a fortune by doing his 
business thoroughly, while his neighbor remains poor 
for life because he only half does it. Ambition, energy, 
industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for 
success in business. 

Fortune always favors the brave, and never helps a 
man who does not help himself. It won t do to spend 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 477 

your time like Mr. Micawber, in waiting for something 
to "turn up." To such men one of two things usu 
ally " turns up " : the poor-house or the jail ; for idle 
ness breeds bad habits, and clothes a man in rags. The 
poor spendthrift vagabond said to a rich man : 

" I have discovered there is money enough in the 
world for all of us, if it was equally divided ; this must 
be done, and we shall all be happy together." 

" But," was the response, " if everybody was like 
you, it would be spent in two months, and what would 
you do then 1 " 

" Oh ! divide again ; keep dividing, of course ! " 

I was recently reading in a London paper an account 
of a like philosophic pauper who was kicked out of a 
cheap boarding-house because he could not pay his bill, 
but he had a roll of papers sticking out of his coat 
pocket, which, upon examination, proved to be his plan 
for paying off the national debt of England without 
the aid of a penny. People have got to do as Crom 
well said : " not only trust in Providence, but keep the 
powder dry." Do your part of the work, or you can 
not succeed. Mahomet, one night, while encamping in 
the desert, overheard one of his fatigued followers 
remark : " I will loose my camel, and trust it to God." 
" No, no, not so," said the prophet, " tie thy camel, and 
trust it to God ! " Do all you can for yourselves, and 
then trust to Providence, or luck, or whatever you 
please to call it, for the rest. 

DEPEND UPON YOUR OWN PERSONAL EXERTIONS. The 
eye of the employer is often worth more than the hands 
of a dozen employees. In the nature of things, an 
agent cannot be so faithful to his employer as to himself. 
Many who are employers will call to mind instances 



478 THE AllT OF MONEY GETTING. 

where the best employees have overlooked important 
points which could not have escaped their own observa 
tion as a proprietor. No man has a right to expect to 
succeed in life unless he understands his business, and 
nobody can understand his business thoroughly unless 
he learns it by personal application and experience. A 
man may be a manufacturer ; he has got to learn the 
many details of his business personally ; he will learn 
something every day, and he will find he will make 
mistakes nearly every day. And these very mistakes 
are helps to him in the way of experiences if he but 
heeds them. He will be like the Yankee tin-peddler, 
who, having been cheated as to quality in the purchase 
of his merchandise, said : " All right, there s a little 
information to be gained every day ; I will never be 
cheated in that way again." Thus a man buys his 
experience, and it is the best kind if not purchased at 
too dear a rate. 

I hold that every man should, like Cuvier, the French 
naturalist, thoroughly know his business. So proficient 
was he in the study of natural history, that you might 
bring to him the bone or even a section of a bone of an 
animal which he had never seen described, and reason 
ing from analogy, he would be able to draw a picture of 
the object from which the bone had been taken. On 
one occasion his students attempted to deceive him. 
They rolled one of their number in a cow skin and put 
him under the Professor s table as a new specimen. When 
the philosopher came into the room, some of the 
students asked him what animal it was. Suddenly the 
animal said " I am the devil and I am going to eat you." 
It was but natural that Cuvier should desire to classify 
this creature, and examining it intently, he said, 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 479 

" Divided hoof ; graminivorous ! it cannot be done." 

He knew that an animal with a split hoof must live 
upon grass and grain, or other kind of vegetation, and 
would not be inclined to eat flesh, dead or alive, so he 
considered himself perfectly safe. The possession of a 
perfect knowledge of your business is an absolute 
necessity in order to insure success. 

Among the maxims of the elder Eothschild was one, 
an apparent paradox : "Be cautious and bold." This 
seems to be a contradiction in terms, but it is not, 
and there is great wisdom in the maxim. It is, in 
fact, a condensed statement of what I have already 
said. It is to say, " you must exercise your caution in 
laying your plans, but be bold in carrying them out." 
A man who is all caution, will never dare to take hold 
and be successful ; and a man who is all boldness, is 
merely reckless, and must eventually fail. A man may 
go on " change " and make fifty or one hundred thou 
sand dollars in speculating in stocks, at a single opera 
tion. But if he has simple boldness without caution, it 
is mere chance, and what he gains to-day he will lose 
to-morrow. You must have both the caution and the 
boldness, to insure success. 

The Rothschilds have another maxim : " Never have 
anything to do with an unlucky man or place." That 
is to say, never have anything to do with a man or 
place which never succeeds, because, although a man 
may appear to be honest and intelligent, yet if he tries 
this or that thing and always fails, it is on account 
of some fault or infirmity that you may not be able to 
discover, but nevertheless which must exist. 

There is no such thing in the world as luck. There 
never was a man who could go out in the morning and 



480 -THE ABT OF MONEY. 

find a purse full of gold in the street to-day, and anothef 
to-morrow, arid so on, day after day. He riiay do so once 
in his life ; but so far as mere luck is concerned, he is as 
liable to lose it as to find it. " Like causes produce 
like effects." If a man adopts the proper methods 
to be successful, " luck" will not prevent him. If he 
do^es not succeed, there are reasons for it, although per 
haps, he may not be able to see them. 

USE THE BEST TOOLS. Men in engaging employees 
should be careful to get the best. Understand, you 
cannot have too good tools to work with, and there is 
no tool you should be so particular about as living 
tools. If you get a good one, it is better to keep him, 
than keep changing. He learns something every day, 
and you are benefited by the experience he acquires. 
He is worth more\ to you this year than last, and he is 
the last man to park with, provided his habits are good 
and he continues faithful. If, as he gets more valu 
able, he demands an exorbitant increase of salary on 
the supposition that you can t do without him, let him 
go. Whenever I have such an employee, I always 
discharge him ; first, to convince him that his place may 
be supplied, and second, because he is good for noth 
ing if he thinks he is invaluable and cannot be spared. 

But I would keep him, if possible, in order to profit 
from the result of his experience. An important ele 
ment in an employee is the brain. You can see bills 
up, " Hands Wanted," but " hands " are not worth a 
great deal without " heads." Mr. Beecher illustrates 
this, in this wise : 

An employee offers his services by saying, " I have a 
pair of hands and one of my fingers thinks." "That 
is very good," says the employer. Another man comes 



THE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 481 

along, and says " he has two fingers that think." "Ah ! 
that is better." But a third calls in and says that 
" all his fingers and thumbs think." That is better still. 
Finally another steps in, and says, " I have a brain 
that thinks ; I think all over ; I am a thinking as well 
as a working man ! " " You are the man I want/ says 
the delighted employer. 

Those men who have brains and experience are there 
fore the most valuable and not to be readily parted 
with ; it is better for them, as well as yourself, to keep 
them, at reasonable advances in their salaries from time 
to time. 

Do N T GET ABOVE YOUR BUSINESS. Young men after 
they get through their business training, or apprentice 
ship, instead of pursuing their avocation and rising in 
their business, will often lie about doing nothing. They 
say, " I have learned my business, but I am not going 
to be a hireling ; what is the object of learning my trade 
or profession, unless I establish myself]" 

" Have you capital to start with ? " 

" No, but I am going to have it." 

" How are you going to get it ? " 

" I will tell you confidentially ; I have a wealthy old 
aunt, and she will die pretty soon ; but if she does not, 
I expect to find some rich old man who Tvlll lend me a 
few thousands to give me a start. If I only get the 
money to start with I will do well." 

There is no greater mistake than when a young 
man believes he will succeed with borrowed money. 
Why? Because every man s experience coincides with 
that of Mr. Astor, who said, it was more difficult for 
him to accumulate his first thousand dollars, than all 
the succeeding millions that made up his colossal for- 



482 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

tune/ Money is good for nothing unless you know the 
value of it by experience. Give a boy twenty thousand 
dollars and put him in business and the chances are 
that he will lose every dollar of it before he is a year 
older. Like buying a ticket in the lottery, and drawing 
a prize, it is " easy come, easy go." He does not 
know the value of it ; nothing is worth anything, unless 
it costs effort. Without self denial and economy, 
patience and perseverance, and commencing with capital 
which you have not earned, you are not sure to succeed 
in accumulating. Young men instead of " waiting for 
dead men s shoes " should be up and doing, for there is 
no class of persons who are so unaccommodating in 
regard to dying as these rich old people, and it is 
fortunate for the expectant heirs that it is so. Nine out 
of ten of the rich men of our country to-day, started 
out in life as poor boys, with determined wills, industry, 
perseverance, economy and good habits. They went on 
gradually, made their own money and saved it ; and this 
is the best way to acquire a fortune. Stephen Girard 
started life as a poor cabin boy, and died worth nine 
million dollars. A. T. Stewart was a poor Irish boy ; 
now he pays taxes on a million and a half dollars of 
income, per year. John Jacob Astor was a poor farmer 
boy, and died worth twenty millions. Cornelius Van- 
derbilt began life rowing a boat from Staten Island to 
New York ; now he presents our government with a 
steamship worth a million of dollars, and he is worth 
fifty millions. 

" There is no royal road to learning," says the proverb, 
and I may say it is equally true, " there is no royal road 
to wealth." But I think there is a royal road to both. 
The road to learning is a royal one ; the road that 



THE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 483 

enables the student to expand his intellect and add 
every day to his stock of knowledge, until, in the pleas 
ant process of intellectual growth, he is able to solve 
the most profound problems, to count the stars, to 
analyze every atom of the globe, and to measure the 
firmament this is a regal highway, and it is the only 
road worth travelling. 

So in regard to wealth. Go on in confidence, study 
the rules, and above all things, study human nature ; for 
" the proper study of mankind is man," and you will find 
that while expanding the intellect and the muscles, your 
enlarged experience will enable you every day to accu 
mulate more and more principal, which will increase 
itself by interest and otherwise, until you arrive at a 
state of independence. You will find, as a general 
thing, that the poor boys get rich and the rich boys get 
poor. For instance, a rich man at his decease, leaves 
a large estate to his family. His eldest sons, who have 
helped him earn his fortune, know by experience the 
value of money, and they take their inheritance and 
add to it. The separate portions of the young children 
are placed at interest, and the little fellows are patted 
on the head, and told a dozen times a day, " you are rich ; 
you will never have to work, you can always have what 
ever you wish, for you were born with a golden spoon in 
your mouth." The young heir soon finds out what that 
means ; he has the finest dresses and playthings ; he is 
crammed with sugar candies and almost " killed with 
kindness," and he passes from school to school, petted 
and flattered. He becomes arrogant and self-conceited, 
abuses his teachers, and carries everything with a high 
hand. He knows nothing of the real value of money, 
having never earned any ; but he knows all about the 

22* 



484 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

" golden spoon " business. At college, he invites his 
poor fellow-students to his room where he " wines and 
dines " them. He is cajoled and caressed, and called a 
glorious good fellow, because he is so lavish of his money. 
He gives his game suppers, drives his fast horses, invites 
his chums to fetes and parties, determined to have lots of 
" good times." He spends the night in frolics and 
debauchery, and leads off his companions with the 
familiar song, " we won t go home till morning." He 
gets them to join him in pulling down signs, taking 
gates from their hinges and throwing them into back 
yards and horse-ponds. If the police arrest them, he 
knocks them down, is taken to the lock-up, and joy 
fully foots the bills. 

" Ah ! my boys," he cries, " what is the use of being 
rich, if you can t enjoy yourself? " 

He might more truly say, " if you can t make a fool of 
yourself" ; but he is " fast," hates slow things, and don t 
" see it." Young men loaded down with other people s 
money are almost sure to lose all they inherit, and they 
acquire all sorts of bad habits which, in the majority of 
cases, ruins them in health, purse and character. In 
this country, one generation follows another, and the 
poor of to-day are rich in the next generation, or the 
third. Their experience leads them on, and they be 
come rich, and they leave vast riches to their young 
children. These children, having been reared in luxury, 
are inexperienced and get poor ; and after long experi 
ence another generation comes on and gathers up 
riches again in turn. And thus " history repeats itself," 
and happy is he who by listening to the experience of 
others avoids the rocks and shoals on which so many 
have been wrecked. 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 485 

LEARN SOMETHING USEFUL. Every man should make 
his son or daughter learn some trade or profession, so 
that in these days of changing fortunes of being rich 
to-day and poor to-morrow, they may have something 
tangible to fall back upon. This provision might save 
many persons from misery, who by some unexpected 
turn of fortune have lost all their means. 

LET HOPE PREDOMINATE, BUT BE NOT TOO VISIONARY. 

Many persons are always kept poor, because they are 
too visionary. Every project looks to them like certain 
success, and therefore they keep changing from one 
business to another, always in hot water, always "under 
the harrow." The plan of " counting the chickens 
before they are hatched " is an error of ancient date, 
but it does not seem to improve by age. 

Do NOT SCATTER YOUR POWERS. Engage in one kind 
of business only, and stick to it faithfully until you 
succeed, or until your experience shows that you should 
abandon it. A constant hammering on one nail will 
generally drive it home at last, so that it can be 
clinched. When a man s undivided attention is cen 
tred on one object, his mind will constantly be suggest 
ing improvements of value, which would escape him if 
his brain was occupied by a dozen different subjects at 
once. Many a fortune has slipped through a man s 
fingers because he was engaging in too many occupa 
tions at a time. There is good sense in the old caution 
against having too many irons in the fire at once. 

BE SYSTEMATIC. Men should be systematic in their 
business. A person who does business by rule, hav* 
ing a time and place for everything, doing his work 
promptly, will accomplish twice as much and with half 
the trouble of him who does it carelessly and slipshod. 



4:86 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

By introducing system into all your transactions, doing 
one thing at a time, always meeting appointments with 
punctuality, you find leisure for pastime and recreation ; 
whereas the man who only half does one thing, and 
then turns to something else and half does that, 
will have his business at loose ends, and will neve 1 * 
know when his day s work is done, for it never will be 
done. Of course there is a limit to all these rules. 
We must try to preserve the happy medium, for there 
is such a thing as being too systematic. There are men 
and women, for instance, who put away things so care 
fully that they can never find them again. It is too 
much like the " red tape " formality at Washington 
and Mr. Dickens "Circumlocution Office," all the 
ory and no result. 

When the " Astor House " was first started in New 
York City, it was undoubtedly the best hotel in tht 
country. The proprietors had learned a good deal in 
Europe regarding hotels, and the landlords were proud 
of the rigid system which pervaded every departmcp* 
of their great establishment. When twelve o clock at 
night had arrived and there were a number of guests 
around, one of the proprietors would say, " Touch that 
bell, John " ; and in two minutes sixty servants with a 
water bucket in each hand, would present themselves 
in the hall. "This," said the landlord, addressing his 
guests, " is our fire bell ; it will show you we are quite 
safe here ; we do everything systematically." This was 
before the Croton water was introduced into the city. 
But they sometimes carried their system too far. On 
one occasion when the hotel was thronged with guests, 
one of the waiters was suddenly indisposed, and al 
though there were fifty waiters in the hotel, the land 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 487 

lord thought he must have his full complement, or his 
" system " would be interfered with. Just before din 
ner time he rushed down stairs and said, " There must 
be another waiter, I am one waiter short, what can I 
do ? " He happened to see " Boots " the Irishman. 
u Pat," said he, " wash your hands a nd face ; take that 
white apron and come into the dining room in five min 
utes." Presently Pat appeared as required, and the pro 
prietor said : " Now Pat, you must stand behind these 
two chairs and wait on the gentlemen who will occupy 
them ; did you ever act as a waiter ] " 

" I know all about it sure, but I never did it." 

Like the Irish pilot, on one occasion when the cap 
tain, thinking he was considerably out of his course, 
asked, " Are you certain you understand what you are 
doing! " 

Pat replied, " Sure and I knows every rock in the 
channel." 

That moment " bang " thumped the vessel against a 
rock. 

"Ah! be jabers, and that is one of em," continued 
the pilot. But to return to the dining-room. " Pat, * 
said the landlord, " here we do everything systemati 
cally. You must first give the gentlemen each a plate 
of soup, and when they finish that, ask them what they 
will have next." 

Pat replied, " Ah ! an I understand parfectly the 
vartues of shystem." 

Very soon in came the guests. The plates of soup 
were placed before them. One of Pat s two gentlemen 
ate his soup, the other did not care for it. He said 
" Waiter, take this plate away and bring me some fish." 

Fat looked at the untasted plate of soup, and remem- 
HG irmij>o:i iT >rv-\Fv * ifurno 1 t vni^ 



488 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

bering the injunctions of the landlord in regard to 
u system," replied : 

" Not till ye have ate yer supe ! " 

Of course that was carrying " system " entirely too 
far. 

READ THE NEWSPAPERS. Always take a trustworthy 
newspaper and thus keep thoroughly posted in regard to 
the transactions of the world, He who is without a 
newspaper is cut off from his species. In these days 
of telegraphs and steam, many important inventions and 
improvements in every branch of trade are being made, 
and he who don t consult the newspapers will soon find 
himself and his business left out in the cold. 

BEWARE OF " OUTSIDE OPERATIONS." We sometimes 
see men who have obtained fortunes, suddenly become 
poor. In many cases this arises from intemperance, 
and often from gaming, and other bad habits. Fre 
quently it occurs because a man has been engaged in 
u outside operations," of some sort. When he gets 
rich in his legitimate business, he is told of a grand 
speculation where he can make a score of thousands. 
He is constantly flattered by his friends, who tell him 
that he is born lucky, that everything he touches turns 
into gold. Now if he forgets that his economical 
habits, his rectitude of conduct and a personal attention 
to a business which he understood, caused his success in 
life, he will listen to the syren voices. He says : 

" I will put in twenty thousand dollars. I have been 
lucky, and my good luck will soon bring me back sixty 
thousand dollars." 

A few days elapse and it is discovered he must put in 
ten thousand dollars more ; soon after he is told "it is 
all right," but certain matters not foreseen require an 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 489 

advance of twenty thousand dollars more, which will 
bring him a rich harvest ; but before the time comes 
around to realize, the bubble bursts, he loses all he is 
possessed of, and then he learns what he ought to have 
known at the first, that however successful a man may 
be in his own business, if he turns from that and 
engages in a business which he don t understand he is 
like Sampson when shorn of his locks, his strength 
has departed, and he becomes like other men. 

If a man has plenty of money he ought to invest 
something in everything that appears to promise success 
and that will probably benefit mankind; but let the 
sums thus invested be moderate in amount, and never 
let a man foolishly jeopardize a fortune that he has 
earned in a legitimate way, by investing it in things in 
which he has had no experience, 

DON T INDORSE WITHOUT SECURITY. I hold that no 
man ought ever to indorse a note or become security for 
any man, be it his father or brother, to a greater extent 
than he can afford to lose and care nothing about, with 
out taking good security. Here is a man that is worth 
twenty thousand dollars ; he is doing a thriving manu 
facturing or mercantile trade ; you are retired and 
living on your money ; he comes to you and says : 

" You are aware that I am worth twenty thousand 
dollars, and don t owe a dollar ; if I had five thousand 
dollars in cash, I could purchase a particular lot of 
goods and double my money in a couple of months ; will 
you indorse my note for that amount I " 

You reflect that he is worth twenty thousand dollars, 
and you incur no risk by indorsing his note ; you like 
to accommodate him, and you lend your name without 
taking the precaution of getting security. Shortly after, 



490 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

he shows you the note with your indorsement cancelled, 
and tells you, probably truly, " that he made the profit 
that he expected by the operation," you reflect that 
you have done a good action, and the thought makes 
you feel happy. By and by, the same thing occurs 
again, and you do it again ; you have already fixed the 
impression in your mind that it is perfectly safe to 
indorse his notes without security. 

But the trouble is, this man is getting money too 
easily. He has only to take your note to the bank, get 
it discounted and take the cash. He gets money for 
the time being without effort ; without inconvenience to 
himself. Now mark the result. He sees a chance for 
speculation outside of his business. A temporary 
investment of only $10,000 is required. It is sure to 
come back before a note at the bank would be due. 
He places a note for that amount before you. You 
sign it almost mechanically. Being firmly convinced 
that your friend is responsible and trustworthy, you 
indorse his notes as " a matter of course." 

Unfortunately the speculation does not come to a head 
quite so soon as was expected, and another $10,000 note 
must be discounted to take up the last one when due. 
Before this note matures the speculation has proved an 
utter failure and all the money is lost. Does the loser 
tell his friend, the indorser, that he has lost half of his 
fortune? Not at all. He don t even mention that he 
has speculated at all. But he has got excited ; the spirit 
of speculation has seized him ; he sees others making 
large sums in this way (we seldom hear of the losers), 

a . like other speculators, he " looks for his money 

where he loses it." He tries again. Indorsing his 
notes has become chronic with you, and at every loss he 



THE AKT OF MONEY GETTING. 491 

gets your signature for whatever amount he wants. 
Finally you discover your friend has lost all of his 
property and all of yours. You are overwhelmed with 
astonishment and grief, and you say " it is a hard thing, 
my friend here has ruined me," but, you should add, " I 
have also ruined him." If you had said in the first 
place, " I will accommodate you, but I never indorse with 
out taking ample security," he could not have gone 
beyond the length of his tether and he would never 
have been tempted away from his legitimate business. 
It is a very dangerous thing, therefore, at any time, to 
let people get possession of money too easily ; it tempts 
them to hazardous speculations, if nothing more. 
Solomon truly said " he that hateth suretiship is sure." 

So with the young man starting in business ; let him 
understand the value of money by earning it. When he 
does understand its value, then grease the wheels a little 
in helping him to start business, but remember men 
who get money with too great facility cannot usually 
succeed. You must get the first dollars by hard knocks, 
and at some sacrifice, in order to appreciate the value 
of those dollars. 

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS. We all depend, more or 
less, upon the public for our support We all trade 
with the public, lawyers, doctors, shoemakers, artists, 
blacksmiths, showmen, opera singers, railroad presi 
dents, and college professors. Those who deal with the 
public must be careful that their goods are valuable ; 
that they are genuine, and will give satisfaction. When 
you get an article which you know is going to please 
your customers, and that when they have tried it, they 
will feel they have got their money s worth, then let the 
fact be known that you have got it. Be careful to 



492 THE AET OF MONEY GETTING. 

advertise it in some shape or other, because it is evident 
that if a man has ever so good an article for sale, and 
nobody knows it, it will bring him no return. In a 
country like this, where nearly everybody reads, and 
where newspapers are issued and circulated in editions 
of five thousand to two hundred thousand, it would be 
very unwise if this channel was not taken advantage of 
to reach the public in advertising. A newspaper goes 
into the family and is read by wife and children, as well 
as the head of the house ; hence hundreds and thou 
sands of people may read your advertisement, while you 
are attending to your routine business. Many, perhaps, 
read it while you are asleep. The whole philosophy of 
life is, first " sow," then " reap." That is the way the 
farmer does ; he plants his potatoes and corn, and sows 
his grain, and then goes about something else, and the 
time comes when he reaps. But he never reaps first 
and sows afterwards. This principle applies to all 
kinds of business, and to nothing more eminently than 
to advertising. If a man has a genuine article, there is 
no way in which he can reap more advantageously than 
by " sowing " to the public in this way. He must, of 
course, have a really good article, and one which will 
please his customers ; anything spurious will not suc 
ceed permanently, because the public is wiser than 
many imagine. Men and women are selfish, and we all 
prefer purchasing where we can get the most for our 
money ; and we try to find out where we can most surely 
do so. 

You may advertise a spurious article, and induce 
many people to call and buy it once, but they will 
denounce you as an impostor and swindler, and your busi 
ness will gradually die out, and leave you poor. This is 



THE ABT OF MONEY GETTING. 493 

right* Few people can safely depend upon chance cus 
tom. You all need to have your customers return and 
purchase again. A man said to me, " I have tried 
advertising, and did not succeed; yet I have a good 
urticle." 

I replied, " My friend, there may be exceptions to 
a general rule. But how do you advertise] " 

" I put it in a weekly newspaper three times, and 
paid a dollar and a half for it." 

I replied : " Sir, advertising is like learning a 
little is a dangerous thing. 

A French writer says that " The reader of a newspa 
per does not see the first insertion of an ordinary adver 
tisement ; the second insertion he sees, but does not 
read ; the third insertion he reads ; the fourth insertion, 
he looks at the price ; the fifth insertion, he speaks of it 
to his wife ; the sixth insertion, he is ready to purchase, 
and the seventh insertion, he purchases." Your object 
in advertising is to make the public understand what 
you have got to sell, and if you have not the pluck to 
keep advertising, until you have imparted that informa 
tion, all the money you have spent is lost. You are 
like the fellow who told the gentleman if he would 
give him ten cents it would save him a dollar. " How 
can I help you so much with so small a sum ? " asked 
the gentleman in surprise. " I started out this morning 
(hiccupped the fellow) with the full determination to get 
drunk, and I have spent my only dollar to accomplish 
the object, and it has not quite done it. Ten cents 
worth more of whiskey would just do it, and in this 
manner I should save the dollar already expended." 

So a man who advertises at all must keep it up until 
the public know who and what he is, and what his 



494 THE AFT OF MONEY GETTING. 

business is, or else the \noney invested in advertising is 
lost. 

Some men have a peculiar genius for Writing a 
striking advertisement, one that will arrest the atten 
tion of the reader at first sight. This tact, of course, 
gives the advertiser a gre^t advantage. Sometimes a 
man makes himself popular by an unique sign or a 
curious display in his window. Recently I observed 
a swing sign extending ove* the sidewalk in front 
of a store, on which was th^ inscription, in plain 
letters, 

"DON T HEAD THE OTH^K SIDE." 

Of course I did, and so did everybody else, and I 
learned that the man had made an independence by 
first attracting the public to his business in that way 
and then using his customers well afterwards. 

Genin, the hatter, bought the first Jenny Lind ticket 
at auction for two hundred and twenty- five dollars, 
because he knew it would be a good advertisement for 
him. " Who is the bidder]" said the auctioneer, as he 
knocked down that ticket at Castle Garden. " Genin, 
the hatter," was the response. Here were thousands of 
people from the Fifth Avenue, and from distant cities 
in the highest stations in life, " Who is Genin, th 
hatter ? " they exclaimed. They had never heard of him 
before. The next morning the newspapers and tele 
graph had circulated the facts from Maine to Texas, and 
from five to ten millions of people had read that the 
tickets sold at auction for Jenny Lind s first concert 
amounted to about twenty thousand dollars, and that a 
single ticket was sold at two hundred and twenty-five 
dollars, to " Genin, the hatter." Men throughout the 



THE ART OF MONEY GWTtflNG. 495 

country involuntarily took off their hats to see if they 
had a " Genin " hat on their heads. At a town in Iowa 
it was found that in the crowd around the Post Office, 
there was one man who had a " Genin " hat, and he 
shoAved.it in triumph, although it was worn out and not 
worth two cents. " Why," one man exclaimed, " you 
have a real c Genin hat ; what a lucky fellow you are." 
Another man said " Hang on to that hdt, it will be a 
valuable heir-loom in your family. " Still another man 
in the crowd, who seemed to envy the possessor of this 
good fortune, said, " come, give us all a chance ; put it up 
at auction ! " He did so, and it was sold as a keepsake 
for nine dollars and fifty cents ! What was the conse 
quence to Mr. Genin ? He sold ten thousand extra hats 
per annum, the first six years. Nine-tenths of the 
purchasers bought of him, probably, out of curiosity, 
and many of them, finding that he gave them an equiva 
lent for their money, became his regular customers. 
This novel advertisement first struck their attention, 
and then as he made a good article, they came again. 

Now, I do n t say that everybody should advertise as 
Mr. Genin did. But I say if a man has got goods 
for sale, and he don t advertise them in some way, the 
chances are that some day the sheriff will do it for him. 
Nor do I say that everybody must advertise in a news 
paper, or indeed use " printers ink " at all. On the 
contrary, although that article is indispensable in the 
majority of cases, yet doctors and clergymen, and some 
times lawyers and some others can more effectually reach 
the public in some other manner. But it is obvious, 
they must be known in some way, else how could they 
be supported? 

BE POLITE AND KIND TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.,. Politeness 



496 THE AKT OF MONEY GETTING. 

and civility are the best capital ever invested in business. 
Large stores, gilt signs, flaming advertisements, will 
all prove unavailing if you or your employees treat 
your patrons abruptly. The truth is, the more kind 
and liberal a man is, the more generous will be the 
patronage bestowed upon him. " Like begets like." 
The man who gives the greatest amount of goods of a 
corresponding quality for the least sum (still reserving 
to himself a profit) will generally succeed best in the long 
run. This brings us to the golden rule, " As ye 
would that men should do to you, do ye also to them," 
and they will do better by you than if you always 
treated them as if you wanted to get the most you could 
out of them for the least return. Men who drive sharp 
bargains with their customers, acting as if they never 
expected to see them again, will not be mistaken. They 
never will see them again as customers. People don t 
like to pay and get kicked also. 

One of the ushers in my Museum once told me he 
intended to whip a man who was in the lecture room as 
soon as he came out. 

"What for?" I inquired. 

" Because he said I was no gentleman," replied the 
usher. 

" Never mind," I replied, " he pays for that, and you 
will not convince him you are a gentleman by whipping 
him. I cannot afford to lose a customer. If you whip 
him, he will never visit the Museum again, and he will 
induce friends to go with him to other places of amuse 
ment instead of this, and thus, you see, I should be a 
serious loser." 

" But he insulted me," muttered the usher. 

" Exactly," I replied, " and if he owned the Museum, 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 497 

and you had paid him for the privilege of visiting it, 
and he had then insulted you, there might be some rea 
son in your resenting it, but in this instance he is the 
man who pays, while we receive, and you must, there 
fore, put up with his bad manners." 

My usher laughingly remarked, that this was undoubt 
edly the true policy, but he added that he should not 
object to an increase of salary if he was expected to be 
abused in order to promote my interests. 

BE CHARITABLE. Of course men should be charitable, 
because it is a duty and a pleasure. But even as a mat 
ter of policy, if you possess no higher incentive, you 
will find that the liberal man will command patronage, 
while the sordid, uncharitable miser will be avoided. 

Solomon says : " There is that scattereth and yet 
increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than 
meet, but it tendeth to poverty." Of course the only 
true charity is that which is from the heart. 

The best kind of charity is to help those who are 
willing to help themselves. Promiscuous almsgiving, 
without inquiring into the worthiness of the applicant, 
is bad in every sense. But to search out and quietly 
assist those who are struggling for themselves, is the 
kind that " scattereth and yet increaseth." But don t 
fall into the idea that some persons practise, of giving a 
prayer instead of a potato, and a benediction instead of 
bread, to the hungry. It is easier to make Christians 
with full stomachs than empty. 

Do N T BLAB. Some men have a foolish habit of tell 
ing their business secrets. If they make money they 
like to tell their neighbors how it was done. Nothing 
is gained by this, and ofttimes much is lost. Say noth 
ing about your profits, your hopes, your expectations, 



498 THE AET OF MONEY GETTIKG. 

your intentions. And this should apply to letters as 
well as to conversation. Goethe makes Mephistophiles 
say : " never write a letter nor destroy one." Business 
men must write letters, but they should be careful what 
they put in them. If you are losing money, be specially 
cautious and not tell of it, or you will lose your reputa 
tion. 

PRESERVE YOUR INTEGRITY. It is more precious than 
diamonds or rubies. The old miser said to his sons : 
" Get money ; get it honestly, if you can, but get money." 
This advice was not only atrociously wicked, but it was 
the very essence of stupidity. It was as much as to say, 
" if you find it difficult to obtain money honestly, you 
can easily get it dishonestly. Get it in that way." 
Poor fool ! Not to know that the most difficult thing 
in life is to make money dishonestly ! not to know that 
our prisons are full of men who attempted to follow 
this advice ; not to understand that no man can be dis 
honest without soon being found out, and that when his 
lack of principle is discovered, nearly every avenue id 
success is closed against him forever. The public very 
properly shun all whose integrity is doubted. No mat 
ter how polite and pleasant and accommodating a man 
may be, noi)e of us dare to deal with him if we suspect 
" false weights and measures." Strict honesty not only 
lies at the foundation of all success in life (financially), 
but in every other respect. Uncompromising integrity 
of character is invaluable. It secures to its possessor a 
peace and joy which cannot be attained without it 
which no amount of money, or houses and lands can 
purchase. A man who is known to be strictly honest, 
may be ever so poor, but he has the purses of all the 
community at his disposal ; for all know that if he 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING 499 

promises to return what he borrows, he will never dis 
appoint them. As a mere matter of selfishness, there 
fore, if a man had no higher motive for being honest, 
all will find that the maxim of Dr. Franklin can never 
fail to be true, that " honesty is the best policy." 

To get rich, is not always equivalent to being successful. 
" There are many rich poor men," while there are many 
others, honest and devout men and women, who have 
never possessed so much money as some rich persons 
squander in a week, but who are nevertheless really richer 
and happier than any man can ever be while he is a 
transgressor of the higher laws of his being. 

The inordinate love of money, no doubt, may be and 
is " the root of all evil," but money itself, when properly 
used, is not only a "handy thing to have in the house," 
but affords the gratification of blessing our race by 
enabling its possessor to enlarge the scope of human 
happiness and human influence. The desire for wealth 
is nearly universal, and none can say it is not laudable, 
provided the possessor of it accepts its responsibilities, 
and uses it as a friend to humanity. 

The history of money getting, which is commerce, is 
a history of civilization, and wherever trade has 
flourished most, there, too, have art and science pro 
duced the noblest fruits. In fact, as a general thing, 
money getters are the benefactors of our race. To 
them, in a great measure, are we indebted for our insti 
tutions of learning and of art, our academies, col 
leges and churches. It is no argument against the 
desire for, or the possession of wealth, to say that 
there are sometimes misers who hoard money only 
for the sake of hoarding, and who have no higher aspi 
ration than to grnsp everything which comes with> 
23 



500 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

their reach. As we have sometimes hypocrites in relig 
ion, and demagogues in politics, so there are occasionally 
misers among money getters. These, however, are 
only exceptions to the general rule. But when, in 
this country, we find such a nuisance and stumbling 
block as a miser, we remember with gratitude that in 
America we have no laws of primogeniture, and that in 
the due course of nature the time will come when the 
hoarded dust will be scattered for the benefit of mankind. 
To all men and women, therefore, do I conscientiously 
say, make money honestly, and not otherwise, for Shakes 
peare has truly said, " He that wants money, means and 
content, is without three good friends." 

Nearly every paper in London had something to say 
about my lecture, and in almost every instance the 
matter and manner of the lecturer were unqualifiedly 
approved. Indeed, the profusion of praise quite over 
whelmed me. The London Times, December 30, 1858, 
concluded a half-column criticism with the following 
paragraph : 

" We arc bound to admit that Mr. Barnuin is one of the most entertaining 
lecturers that ever addressed an audience on a theme universally intelligible. 
The appearance of Mr. Barnum, it should be added, has nothing of the 
charlatan about it, but is that of the thoroughly respectable man of business; 
and he has at command a fund of dry humor that convulses everybody Avith 
laughter, while he himself remains perfectly serious. A sonorous voice and an 
admirably clear delivery complete his qualifications as a lecturer, in which 
capacity he is 110 ( humbug, either in a higher or. lower sense of the word." 

The London Morning Post, the Advertiser, the Chron 
icle, the Telegraph, the Herald, the News, the Globe, the 
Sun, and other lesser journals of the same date, all 
contained lengthy and favorable notices and criticisms 
of rny lecture. My own lavish advertisements were as 
nothing to the notoriety which the London newspapers 
voluntarily and editorially gave to my new enterprise. 



THE AKT OF MONEY GETTING. 501 

The weekly and literary papers followed in the train ; 
and even Punch, which had already done so much t6 
keep Tom Thumb before the public, gave me a half- 
page notice, with an illustration, and thereafter favored 
me with frequent paragraphs. The city thus prepared 
the provinces to give me a cordial reception. 

During the year 1859, I delivered this lecture nearly 
one hundred times in different parts of England, 
returning occasionally to London to repeat it to fresh 
audiences, and always with pecuniary success. Every 
provincial paper had something to say about Barnum 
and " The art of Money Getting," and I was never more 
pleasantly or profusely advertised. The tour, too, made 
me acquainted with many new people and added fresh 
and fast friends to my continually increasing list. My 
lecturing season is among my most grateful memories of 
England. 

Remembering my experiences, some years before, 
with General Tom Thumb at Oxford and Cambridge, 
and the fondness of the undergraduates for practical 
joking, I was quite prepared when I made up my mind 
to visit those two cities, to take any quantity of " chaff " 
and lampooning which the University boys might choose 
to bring. I was sure of a full house in each city, and 
as I was anxious to earn all the money I could, so as to 
hasten my deliverance from financial difficulties, I fully 
resolved to put up with whatever offered indeed, I 
rather liked the idea of an episode in the steady run of 
praise which had followed my lecture every where, and 
I felt, too, in the coming encounter that I might give 
quite as much as I was compelled to take. 

I commenced at Cambridge, and, as I expected, to an 
overflowing house, largely composed of undergraduates 



502 THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 

Soon after I began to speak, one of the young men 
called out : " Where is Joice Heth ? " to which I very 
coolly replied : 

" Young gentleman, please to restrain yourself till the 
conclusion of the lecture, when I shall take great 
delight in affording you, or any others of her posterity, 
all the information I possess concerning your deceased 
relative." 

This reply turned the laugh against the youthful and 
anxious inquirer and had the effect of keeping other 
students quiet for a half hour. Thereafter, questions 
of a similar character were occasionally propounded, 
but as each inquirer generally received a prompt Roland 
for his Oliver, there was far less interruption than I 
had anticipated. The proceeds of the evening were 
more than one hundred pounds sterling, an important 
addition to my treasury at that time. At the close of 
the lecture, several students invited me to a sump 
tuous supper where I met, among other undergraduates, 
a nephew of Lord Macaulay, the historian. This 
young gentleman insisted upon my breakfasting with 
him at his rooms next morning, but as I was anxious to 
take an early train for London, I only called to leave 
my card, and after his " gyp " had given me a strong 
cup of coffee, I hastened away, leaving the young 
Macaulay, whom I did not wish to disturb, fast asleep 
in bed. 

At Oxford the large hall was filled half an hour 
before the time announced for the lecture to begin and 
the sale of tickets was stopped. I then stepped upon 
the platform, and said : " Ladies and Gentlemen : As 
every seat is occupied and the ticket-office is closed, 
I propose to proceed with my lecture now, and not 
keep you waiting till the advertised hour." 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 503 

<c Good for you, old Barnum," said one ; " Time is 
money," said another; " Nothing like economy," came 
from a third, and other remarks and exclamations 
followed which excited much laughter in the audi 
ence. Holding up my hand as a signal that I was 
anxious to say something so soon as silence should 
be restored, I thus addressed my audience : 

" Young gentlemen, I have a word or two to say, in 
order that we may have a thorough understanding 
between ourselves at the outset. I see symptoms of a 
pretty jolly time here this evening, and you have paid 
me liberally for the single hour of my time which is at 
your service. I am an old traveller and an old show 
man, and I like to please my patrons. Now, it is quite 
immaterial to me ; you may furnish the entertainment 
for the hour, or I will endeavor to do so, or we will take 
portions of the time by turns you supplying a part 
of the amusement, and I a part ; as we say sometimes 
in America, you pays your money, and you takes your 
choice. " 

My auditors were in the best of humor from the 
beginning, and my frankness pleased them. " Good for 
you, old Barnum," cried their leader ; and I went on 
with my lecture for some fifteen minutes, when a voice 
called out : 

" Come, old chap ! you must be tired by this time ; 
hold up now till we sing Yankee Doodle, " whereupon 
they all joined in that pleasing air with a vigor which 
showed that they had thoroughly prepared themselves 
for the occasion, and meanwhile I took a chair and sat 
down to show them that I was quite satisfied with their 
manner of passing the time. When the song was con 
cluded, the leader of the party said : " Now, Mr. Bar 
num, you may go ahead again," 



504 THE AKT OF MONEY GETTING. 

I looked at my watch and quietly remarked, " Oh ! 
there is time for lots of fun yet ; we have nearly forty 
minutes of the hour remaining," and I proceeded with 
my lecture, or rather a lecture, for I began to adapt my 
remarks to the audience and the occasion. At intervals 
of ten minutes, or so, came interruptions which I, as 
my audience saw, fully enjoyed as much as the house 
did. When this miscellaneous entertainment w^as con 
cluded, and I stopped short at the end of the hour, 
crowds of the young men pressed forward to shake 
hands with me, declaring that they had had a "jolly 
good time," while the leader said : " Stay with us a 
week, Barnum, and we will dine you, wine you, and 
give you full houses every night." But I was announced 
to lecture in London the next evening and I could not 
accept the pressing invitation, though I would gladly 
have stayed through the week. They asked me all 
sorts of questions about America, the Museum, my 
various shows and successes, and expressed the hope 
that I would come out of my clock troubles all right. 

At least a score of them pressed me to breakfast with 
them next morning, but I declined, till one young gentle 
man put it on this purely personal ground : "My dear 
sir, you must breakfast with me ; I have almost split 
my throat in screaming here to-night and it is only fair 
that you should repay me by coming to see me in the 
morning." This appeal was irresistible, and at the 
appointed time I met him and half a dozen of his 
friends at his table and we spent a very pleasant hour 
together. They complimented me on the tact and 
equanimity I had exhibited the previous evening, but I 
replied : " Oh ! I was quite inclined to have you enjoy 
your fun, and came fully prepared for it." 



THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. 505 

But they liked better, they said, to get the party angry. 
A fortnight before, they told me, my friend Howard 
Paul had left them in disgust, because they insisted 
upon smoking while his wife was on the stage, adding 
that the entertainment was excellent and that Howard 
Paul could have made a thousand pounds if he had not 
let his anger drive him away. My new-found friends 
parted with me at the railway station, heartily urging 
me to come again, and my ticket seller returned 169 
as the immediate result of an evening s good-natured 
fun with the Oxford boys. 

After delivering my lecture many times in different- 
places, a prominent publishing house in London, offered 
me 1,200 ($6,000,) for the copyright. This offer I 
declined, not that I thought the lecture worth more 
money, but because I had engaged to deliver it in several 
towns and cities, and I thought the publication would 
be detrimental to the public delivery of my lec 
ture. It was a source of very considerable emolument 
to me, bringing in much money, which went towards the 
redemption of my pecuniary obligations, so that the lec 
ture itself was an admirable illustration of " The Art of 
Money Getting." 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN. 

AN ENGLISH YANKEE MY FIRST INTERVIEW WITH HIM HIS PLANS BASED. ON 
BARNUM S BOOK ADVERTISING FOR PARTNERS HOW MY RULES MADE 
HIM RICH METHOD IN MADNESS THE " BARNUM " OF BURY DINNER TO 
TOM THUMB AND COMMODORE NUTT MY AGENT IN PARIS MEASURING A 
MONSTER HOW GIANTS AND DWARFS STRETCH AND CONTRACT AN UN 
WILLING FRENCHMAN A PERSISTENT MEASURER A GIGANTIC HUMBUG 
THE STEAM-ENGINES "BARNUM" AND " CHARITY " WHAT " CHARITY " DID 
FOR "BARNUM" SELLING THE SAME GOODS A THOUSAND TIMES THE 
GREAT CAKES SIMNEL SUNDAY THE SANITARY COMMISSION FAIR. 

WHILE visiting Manchester, in 1858, I was invited by 
Mr. Peacock, the lessee, to deliver a lecture in " Free 
Trade Hall." I gave a lecture, the title of which I now 
forget ; but I well remember it contained numerous per 
sonal reminiscences. The next day a gentleman sent 
his card to my room at the hotel where I was stopping. 
I requested the servant to show the gentleman up at 
once, and he soon appeared and introduced himself. 
At first he seemed somewhat embarrassed, but gradually 
broke the ice by saying he had been pleased in listening 
to my lecture the previous evening, and added that he 
knew my history pretty well, as he had read my auto 
biography. As his embarrassment at first meeting with 
a stranger wore away, he informed me that he was joint 
proprietor with another gentleman in a " cotton-mill " 
in Bury, near Manchester, " although," he modestly 
added, " only a few years ago I was working as a jour 
neyman, and probably should have been at this tim/x 



AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN. 501 

had it not been for your book." Observing my surprise 
at this announcement, he continued : 

" The fact is, Mr. Barnum, upon reading your auto 
biography, I thought I perceived you tried to make 
yourself out something worse than you really were ; for 
I discovered a pleasant spirit and a good heart under the 
rougher exterior in which you chose to present yourself 
to the public ; but," he added, " after reading your 
life I found myself in possession of renewed strength, 
and awakened energies and aspirations, and I said to 
myself, Why can t I go ahead and make money as Bar 
num did I He commenced without money and suc 
ceeded ; why may not I ] In this train of thought," 
he continued, " I went to a newspaper office and adver 
tised for a partner with money to join me in establishing 
a cotton-mill. I had no applications, and, remembering 
your experiences when you had money and wanted a 
partner, I spent half a crown in a similar experiment. 
I advertised for a partner to join a man who had plenty 
of capital. Then I had lots of applicants ready to intro 
duce me into all sorts of occupations, from that of a 
banker to that of a horse-jockey or gambler, if I would 
only furnish the money to start with. After a while, I 
advertised again for a partner, and obtained one with 
money. We have a good mill. I devote myself closely 
to business, and have been very successful. I know 
every line in your book ; so, indeed, do several members 
of my family ; and I have conducted my business on the 
principles laid down in your published fc Rules for 
Money-making. I find them correct principles ; and, 
sir, I have sought this interview in order to thank you 
for publishing your autobiography, and to tell you that 
to that act of yours I attribute my present position in 
life." 23* 



508 AN ENTERPKISING ENGLISHMAN. 

Of course, I was pleased and surprised at this revela 
tion, and, feeling that my new friend, whom I will call 
Mr. Wilson * had somewhat exaggerated the results of 
my labors as influencing his own, I said : 

" Your statement is certainly very flattering, and I am 
glad if I have been able in ,any manner, through my 
experiences, to aid you in starting in life ; but I presume 
your genius would have found vent in good time if I 
had never written a book." 

" No, indeed it would not," he replied, in an earnest 
tone ; " I am sure I should have worked as a mill-hand 
all my life if it had not been for you. Oh, I have made 
no secret of it," he continued ; " the commercial men 
with whom I deal know all about it : indeed, they call 
me Barnum on change here in Manchester." 

This singular yet gratifying interview led to several 
others, and from that time a warm personal friendship 
sprung up between us. In our conversations, my enthu 
siastic friend would often quote entire pages from my 
autobiography, which I had almost forgotten ; and, after 
he had frequently visited me by appointment where I 
happened to be stopping in different parts of Great 
Britain, he would write me letters, often quoting scraps 
of my conversation, and extolling what he called the 
" wisdom " of these careless remarks. I laughed at 
him, and told him he was about half Barnum-crazy. 
" Well," he replied, " then there is method in my mad 
ness, for whenever I follow the Barnum rules I am 
always successful." 

On one occasion, when General Tom Thumb exhi 
bited in Bury, Mr. Wilson closed his mill, and gave 
each of his employes a ticket to the exhibition ; out 
of respect, as he said, to Barnum. On a subsequent 

* T.yfiis consent I state that his name is John Fish. 



AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN. 509 

occasion, when the little General visited England the 
last time, Mr. Wilson invited him, his wife, Commodore 
Nutt, Minnie Warren, and the managers of " the show," 
to a splendid and sumptuous dinner at his house, which 
the distinguished little party enjoyed exceedingly ; and 
several interesting incidents occurred on that pleasant 
occasion, which the miniature guests will never cease 
to remember with gratitude. When I was about to 
leave England for home, in 1859, my friend Wilson 
made an appointment to come to Liverpool to see me 
off. He came the day before I sailed, and brought his 
little daughter, some twelve years old, with him. We 
had a remarkably pleasant and social time, and I did 
not part with them until the tug was almost dropping off 
from the steamer in the river Mersey. It was a very 
reluctant parting. We waved our handkerchiefs until 
we could no longer distinguish each other ; and up to 
the present writing we have never again met. To my 
numerous invitations to him and his family, to visit me 
in America, he sends but one response, that, as yet, 
his business will not permit him to leave home. I hope 
ere long to receive a different answer. Our correspond 
ence has been regularly kept up ever since we parted. 
My friend Wilson expressed himself extremely anx 
ious to do any service for me which might at any time 
be in his power. Soon after I arrived in America, I 
read an account of a French giant, then exhibiting in 
Paris, and said to be over eight feet in height. As this 
was a considerably greater altitude than any specimen 
of the genus homo within my knowledge had attained, 
I wrote to my friend to take a trip to. Paris for me, 
secure an interview with this modern Anak, and by 
actual measurement obtain for me his exact height. I 



510 AN ENTEKRRISING ENGLISHMAN. 

enclosed an offer for this giant s services, arranging ike 
price on a sliding scale, according to what his height 
should actually prove to be, commencing at c-fght 
feet, and descending to seven feet two inches; and r ( ; 
he was not taller than the latter figure, I did not war : 
him at all. 

Mr. Wilson, placing an English two-foot rule in his 
pocket, started for Paris ; and, after much difficulty and 
several days delay in trying to speak with the giant, 
who was closely watched by his exhibitor, Mr. Wilson 
succeeded, by the aid of an interpreter, in exchanging a 
few words with him, and appointing an interview at his 
own (the giant s) lodgings. And now came a trouble 
which required all the patience and diplomacy which 
my agent could command. Mr. Wilson, arriving at the 
place of rendezvous, told the giant who he was, and the 
object of his visit. In fact, he showed him my letter, 
and read the tempting offers which I made for his ser 
vices, provided he measured eight feet, or even came 
within six inches of that height. 

" Oh, I measure over eight feet in height," said the 
giant. "Very likely," .replied my faithful agent, "but 
you see my orders are to measure you- " There s no 
need of that, you can see for yourself," stretching him 
self up a few inches, by aid of that peculiar muscular 
knack which giants and dwarfs exercise when they 
desire to extend or diminish their apparent stature. 
64 No doubt you are right," persisted the agent ; " but 
you see that is not according to orders." " Weil, stand 
alongside of me ; see, the top of your hat do n t come to 
my shoulder," said the giant, as he swung his arm com 
pletely over Mr. Wilson s head, hat and all, 

But my wary agent happened just then to be watch- 



: 







AN ENTERPBISING ENGLISHMAN. 511 

ing the giant s feet and knees, and he thought he saw a 
movement around the " understandings " that materially 
helped the elevation of the " upperworks." " It is all 
very well," said Mr. Wilson ; " but I tell you I have 
brought a two-foot rule from England, and, if I am not 
permitted to mfeasure your height with that, I shall not 
engage you." My offer had been very liberal ; in fact, 
provided he was eight feet high, it was more than four 
times the amount the giant was then receiving ; it was 
evidently a great temptation to his u highness," and 
quite as evidently he did not want to be fairly measured. 
" Well," said the giant, " if you can t take my word 
for it, look at that door ; you see my head is more than 
two feet above the top : " (giving his neck and every 
muscle in his body a severe stretch:) "just measure the 
height of that door." My English friend plainly saw 
that the giant felt that he could not come up to the 
mark, an,d he laughed at this last ruse. " Oh, I don t 
want to measure the door; I prefer to measure you," 
said Mr. Wilson, coolly. The giant was now desperate, 
and, stretching himself up to the highest point, he ex 
claimed : " Well, be quick ! put your rule down to my 
feet and measure me ; no delay, if you please." 

The giant knew .he could nol hold himself up many 
seconds to the few extra inches he had imparted to his 
extended muscles ; but his "remark had drawn Mr. Wil 
son s attention to his feet, and from the feet to the boots, 
and he began to open his eyes. " Look here, Monsieur," 
he exclaimed with much earnestness, " this sort of thing 
wont do, you know. I don t understand this contrivance 
around the soles of your boots, but it seems to me you 
have got a set of springs in there which materially aids 
your altitude a few inches when you desire it. Now, I 



512 AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN. 

shall stand no more nonsense. If I engage you at all, 
you must first take off your boots, and lie flat upon your 
back in the middle of the floor ; there you will have no 
purchase, and you may stretch as much as you like ; and 
for every inch you fairly measure above seven feet two 
inches you know what I am authorized to give you." 
The giant grumbled and talked about his word being 
doubted and his honor assailed, but Mr. Wilson calmly 
persisted, until at length he slowly took off his coat and 
gradually got down on the floor. Stretched upon his 
back, he made several vain efforts to extend his natural 
height. Mr. Wilson carefully applied his English two- 
foot rule, the result of the measurement causing him 
much astonishment and the giant more indignation, the 
giant measuring exactly seven feet one and one half 
inches. So he was not engaged, and my agent returned 
to England and wrote me a most amusing letter, giving 
the particulars of the gigantic interview. 

On the occasion of the erection of a new engine in his 
mill, Mr. Wilson proposed naming it after his daughter, 
but she insisted it should be christened " Barnum," and 
it was so done, with considerable ceremony. Subse 
quently he introduced a second engine into his enlarged 
mill, and named this, after my wife, " Charity." 

A short time since, I wrote informing him that I de 
sired to give some of the foregoing facts in my book, 
and asked him to give me his consent, and also to 
furnish me some particulars in regard to the engines, 
and the capacity of his mill. He wrote in return a 
modest letter, which is so characteristic of my whole- 
souled friend that I cannot forbear making the following 
extracts from it : 



AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN. 

Had I made a fortune of 100,0(X) I should have been proud of such a place in 
your book as Albert Smith has in your Autobiography; but, as I have only been 
able to make (here he named a sum which in this country would be considered 
almost a fortune), I feel I should be out of place in your pages; at all events, 
if you mention me at all, draw it mildly, if you please. 

The American war has made sad havoc in our trade, and it is only by close atten 
tion to business that I have lately been at all succesvsful. I have built a place for 
one thousand looms, and have, as you know, put in a pair of engines, which I have 
named "Barnum" and "Charity." Each engine has its name engraved on two 
large brass plates at either end of the cylinder, which has often caused much 
mirth when I have explained the circumstances to visitors. I started and chris 
tened "Charity" on the 14th of January last, and she has saved me 12 per 
month in coals ever since. The steam from the boiler goes first to " Charity" (she 
is high pressure), and " Barnum " only gets the steam after she has done with it. 
He has to work at low pressure (a condensing engine), and the result is a saving. 
Barnum was extravagant when he took steam direct, but, since I fixed Charity 
betwixt him and the boiler, he can only get what she gives him. This reminds 
me that you state in your " Life " you could always make money, but formerly did 
not save it. Perhaps you never took care of it till Charity became Chancellor of 
Exchequer. When I visited you at the Bull Hotel, in Blackburn, you pointed to- 
General Tom Thumb, and said: "That is my piece of goods; I have sold it hun 
dreds of thousands of times, and have never yet delivered it !" That was ten 
years ago, in 1858. If I had been doing the same with my pieces of calico, I must 
have been wealthy by this time: but I have been hammering at one (cotton) nail 
several months, and, as it did not offer to clinch, I was almost tempted to doubt 
one of your " rules," and thought I would drive at some other nail; but, on reflec 
tion, I knew I understood cotton better than anything else, and so I back up 
your rule and stick to cotton, not doubting it will be all right and successful. 



Mr, Wilson was one of the large class of English 
manufacturers who suffered seriously from the effects of 
the rebellion in the United States. As an Englishman 
he could not have a patriot s interest in the progress of 
that terrible struggle ; but he made a practical exhibition 
of sympathy for the suffering soldiers, in a pleasant and 
characteristic manner. 

The great fair of the Sanitary Commission, held in 
Naw York during the war, affords one of the most 
interesting chapters in American history. It meant 
cordial for the sick and suffering in the hospitals, and 
balm and relief for the wounded in the field. None 
of those who visited the Fair will forget, in the multi 
plicity of offerings to put money into the treasury of the 



514 AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN. 

Commission, two monster cakes, which were as strange 
in shape and ornament as they were fairly mammoth in 
their proportions. One of these great cakes was cov 
ered with miniature forts, ships of war, cannon, armies, 
arms of the whole " panoply of war," and it excited the 
attention of all visitors. This strange cake was what is 
called in Bury, England, where name, cake and custom 
originated, a " Simnel cake," and an interesting history 
pertains to it. 

There is an anniversary in Bury, and I believe only in 
that place in England, called " Simnel Sunday." Like 
many old observances, its origin is lost in antiquity ; but 
on the fourth Sunday in Lent, which is Simnel Sunday, 
everybody in Bury eats Simnel cake. It is a high day 
for the inhabitants, and the streets are thronged with 
people. During the preceding week, the shop windows 
of the confectioners exhibit a plethora of large, flat 
cakes, of a peculiar pattern and of toothsome composi 
tion. Every confectioner aims to outdo his rivals in the 
bigness of the one show-cake which nearly fills his win 
dow, and in the moulding and ornamental accessories. 
A local description, giving the requisite characteristics, 
says : " The great Simnel must be rich, must be big, and 
must be novel in ornamentation." Such is the Simnel 
cake, the specialty of Simnel Sunday, in the town of 
Bury, in Old England. 

And such was the monster cake, with its warlike em 
blems, which attracted so much attention at the Fair, 
and added considerably to the receipts for the Sanitary 
Commission. It was sent to me expressly for this Fair, 
by my friend Wilson, and, while it was in itself a gener 
ous gift, it was doubly so as coming from an English 
manufacturer who had suffered by the war. The second 



AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN.; 515 

great Simnel cake which stood beside it in the Fair was 
sent to me personally by Mr. Wilson ; but with his per 
mission I took much pleasure in contributing it, with his 
own offering, for the benefit of our suffering soldiers. 

It may thus be seen that my friend Wilson is not 
only " an enterprising Englishman," but that he is also 
a generous, noble-hearted man, one who in a great 
struggle like the late civil war in America, could sin 
cerely sympathize with suffering humanity, notwith 
standing, as he expressed it, " the American war has 
made sad havoc in our trade." His soul soars above 
" pounds, shillings and pence "; and I take great pleasure 
in expressing admiration for a gentleman of such marked 
enterprise, philanthropy and integrity. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

KICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIK 



AT HOME EXTINGUISHMENT OF THE CLOCK DEBTS A RASCALLY PROPOSITION 

BARNUM ON HIS FEET AGAIN RE-PURCHASE OF THE MUSEUM A GALA 
PAY MY RECEPTION BY MY FRIENDS THE STORY OF MY TROUBLES 
HOW I WADED ASHORE PROMISES TO THE PUBLIC THE PUBLIC RESPONSE 

MUSEUM VISITORS THE RECEIPTS DOUBLED HOW THE PRESS RECEIVED 
THE NEWS OF RESTORATION THE SYCOPHANTS OLD AND FAST FRIENDS 

ROBERT BONNER CONSIDERATION AND COURTESY OF CREDITORS THE 
BOSTON SATURDAY EVENING GAZETTE AGAIN ANOTHER WORD FOR BARNUM. 



IN 1859 I returned to the United States. During my 
last visit abroad I had secured many novelties for the 
Museum, including the Albino Family, which I engaged 
at Amsterdam, and Thiodon s mechanical theatre, which 
I found at Southampton, beside purchasing many curi 
osities. These things all afforded me a liberal commis 
sion, and thus, by constant and earnest effort, I made 
much money, besides what I derived from the Tom 
Thumb exhibitions, my lectures, and other enterprises. 
All of this money, as well as my wife s income and a 
considerable sum raised by selling a portion of her 
property, was faithfully devoted to the one great object 
of my life at that period my extrication from those 
crushing clock debts. I worked and I saved. When my 
wife and youngest daughter were not boarding in Bridge 
port, they lived frugally in the suburbs, in a small one- 
story house which was hired at the rate of $150 a year. 
I had now been struggling about four years with the 
difficulties of my one great financial mistake, and the end 



RICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIN. 517 

still seemed to be far off. I felt that the land, purchased 
by my wife in East Bridgeport at the assignees sale, 
would, after a while, increase rapidly in value ; and on 
the strength of this expectation more money was bor 
rowed for the sake of taking up the clock notes, and 
some of the East Bridgeport property was sold in single 
lots, the proceeds going to the same object. 

At last, in March 1860, all the clock indebtedness 
was satisfactorily extinguished, excepting some $20,000 
which I had bound myself to take up within a certain 
number of months, my friend, James D. Johnson, guaran 
teeing my bond to that effect. Mr. Johnson was by 
far my most effective agent in working me through these 
clock troubles, and in aiding to bring them to a success 
ful conclusion. Another man, however, who pretended 
to be my friend, and whom I liberally paid to assist in 
bringing me out of my difficulties, gained my confidence, 
possessed himself of a complete knowledge of the 
situation of my affairs, and then coolly proposed to Mr. 
Johnson to counteract all my efforts to get out of debt, 
and to divide between them what could be got out of 
my estate. Failing in this, the scoundrel, taking advan 
tage of the confidence reposed in him. slyly arranged 
with the owners of clock notes to hold on to them, and 
share with him whatever they might gain by adopting 
his advice, he assuming that he knew all my secrets and 
that I would soon come out all right again. Thus I 
had to contend with foes from within as well as without ; 
but the " spotting " of this traitor was worth something, 
for it opened my eyes in relation to former transactions 
in which I had intrusted large sums of money to his 
hands, and it put me on guard for the future. But I 
bear no malice towards him ; I only pity him, as I do 






518 KICHAKD S HIMSELF AGAIN. 

any man who knows so little of the true road to 
contentment and happiness as to think that it lies in the 
direction of dishonesty. * 

I need not dwell upon the details of what I suffered 
from the doings of those heartless, unscrupulous men 
who fatten upon the misfortunes of others. It is 
enough to say that I triumphed over them and all my 
troubles. I was once more a free man. At last I was 
able to make proclamation that " Richard s himself 
again " ; that Barnum was once more on his feet. The 
Museum had not flourished greatly in the hands 
of Messrs. Greenwood & Butler, and so, when I was 
free, I was quite willing to take back the property 
upon terms that were entirely satisfactory to them. 
I had once retired from the establishment a man of 
independent fortune ; I was now ready to return, to 
make, if possible, another fortune. 

On the 17th of March, 1860, Messrs. Butler & Green 
wood signed an agreement to sell and deliver to me on 
the following Saturday, March 24th, their good will 
and entire interest in the Museum collection. This 
fact was thoroughly circulated and it was everywhere 
announced in blazing posters, placards and advertise 
ments which were headed, " Barnum on his feet 
again." It was furthermore stated that the Museum 
would be closed, March 24th, for one week for repairs 
and general renovation, to be re-opened, March 31st, 
under the management and proprietorship of its 
original owner. It was also announced that on the 
night of closing I would address the audience from the 
stage. 

The American Museum, decorated on that occasion, 
as on holidays, with a brilliant display of nags and 



BICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIN. 519 

banners, was filled to its utmost capacity, and I expe 
rienced profound delight at seeing hundreds of old 
friends of both sexes in the audience. I lacked but 
four months of being fifty years of age ; but I felt all 
the vigor and ambition that fired me when I first took 
possession of the premises twenty years before ; and 
I was confident that the various experiences of that 
score of years would be valuable to me in my second 
effort to secure an independence. 

At the rising of the curtain and before the play com 
menced, I stepped on the stage and was received by 
the large and brilliant audience with an enthusiasm 
far surpassing anything of the kind I had ever experi 
enced or witnessed in a public career of a quarter of a 
century. Indeed, this tremendous demonstration nearly 
broke me down, and my voice faltered and tears came 
to my eyes as I thought of this magnificent conclusion 
to the trials and struggles of the past four years. 
Recovering myself, however, I bowed my grateful 
acknowledgments for the reception, and addressed the 
audience as follows: 

" LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : I should be more or less 
than human, if I could meet this unexpected and over 
whelming testimonial at your hands, without the deep 
est emotion. My own personal connection with the 
Museum is now resumed, and I avail myself of the 
circumstance to say why it is so. Never did I feel 
stronger in my worldly prosperity than in September, 
1855. Three months later, I was so deeply embarrassed 
that I felt certain of nothing, except the uncertainty of 
everything. A combination of singular efforts and cir 
cumstances tempted me to put faith in a certain clock 
manufacturing company, and I placed my signature to 



520 RICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIN. 

papers which ultimately broke me down. After nearly 
five years of hard struggle to keep my head above 
water, I have touched bottom at last, and here, to-night, 
I am happy to announce that I have waded ashore. 
Every clock debt of which I have any knowledge lias 
been provided for. Perhaps, after the troubles and tur 
moils I have experienced, I should feel no desire to 
re-engage in the excitements of business, but a man 
like myself, less than fifty years of age, and enjoying 
robust health, is scarcely old enough to be embalmed 
and put in a glass case in the Museum as one of its 
million of curiosities. It is better to wear out than 
rust out. Besides, if a man of active temperament is 
not busy, he is apt to get into mischief. To avoid evil, 
therefore, and since business activity is a necessity of 
my nature, here I am, once more, in the Museum, and 
among those with whom I have been so lon<? and so 

o o 

pleasantly identified. I am confident of a cordial wel 
come, and hence feel some claim to your indulgence 
while I briefly allude to the means of my present deliv 
erance from utter financial ruin. Need I say, in the 
first place, that I am somewhat indebted to the forbear 
ance of generous creditors. In the next place, permit 
me to speak of sympathizing friends, whose volunteered 
loans and exertions vastly aided my rescue. When my 
day of sorrow came, I first paid or secured every debt 
I owed of a personal nature. This done, I felt bound 
in honor to give up all of my property that remained 
towards liquidating my " clock debts." I placed it in 
the hands of trustees and receivers for the benefit of all 
the " clock " creditors. But, at the forced sale of my 
Connecticut real estate, there was a purchaser behind 
the screen, of whom the world had little knowledge, 






RICHARD S HIMSELF AGADT. 521 

Tn the day of my prosperity I made over to my wife 
much valuable property, including the lease of this 
Museum building, a lease then having about twenty- 
two years to run, and enhanced in value to more than 
double its original worth. I sold the Museum collection 
to Messrs. Greenwood and Butler, subject to my wife s 
separate interest in the lease, and she has received more 
than eighty thousand dollars over and above the sums 
paid to the owners of the building. Instead of selfishly 
applying this amount to private purposes, my family 
lived with a due regard to economy, and the savings 
(strictly belonging to my wife) were devoted to buying 
in portions of my estate at the assignees sales, and to 
purchasing " clock notes " bearing my indorsements. 
The Christian name of my wife is Charity. I may well 
acknowledge, therefore, that I am not only a proper 
subject of charity, but that without Charity, I am 
nothing/ 

" But, ladies and gentlemen, while Charity thus labored 
in my behalf, Faith and Hope were not idle. I have 
been anything but indolent during the last four years. 
Driven from pillar to post, and annoyed beyond descrip 
tion by all sorts of legal claims and writs, I was perusing 
protests and summonses by day, and dreaming of clocks 
run down by night. My head was ever whizzing with 
dislocated cog-wheels and broken main-springs; my 
whole mind (and my credit) was running upon tick, and 
everything pressing on me like a dead weight 

In this state of affairs I felt that I was of no use on 
this side of the Atlantic ; so, giving the pendulum a 
swing, and seizing time by the forelock, I went to 
Europe. There I furtively pulled the wires of several 
exhibitions, among which that of Tom Thumb may be 

24 



BICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIK, 

mentioned for example. I managed a variety of musical 
and commercial speculations in Great Britain, Germany, 
and Holland. These enterprises, together with the net 
profits of my public lectures, enabled me to remit large 
sums to confidential agents for the purchase of my obli 
gations. In this manner, I quietly extinguished, little 
by little, every dollar of my clock liabilities. I could 
not have achieved this difficult feat, however, without 
the able assistance of enthusiastic friends, and among 
the chief of them let me gratefully acknowledge the 
invaluable services of Mr. James D. Johnson, a gentle 
man of wealth, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Other 
gentlemen have been generous with me. Some have 
loaned me large sums, without security, and have placed 
me under obligations which must ever command my 
honest gratitude ; but Mr. Johnson has been a friend 
indeed, for he has been truly a- friend in need. 

" You must not infer, from what I have said, that I 
have completely recovered from the stunning blow to 
which I was subjected four years ago. I have lost 
more in the way of tens of thousands, yes, hundreds of 
thousands, than I care to remember. A valuable portion 
of my real estate in Connecticut, however, has been 
preserved, and as I feel all the ardor of twenty years 
ago, and the prospect here is so flattering, my heart 
is animated with the hope of ultimately, by enterprise 
and activity, obliterating unpleasant reminiscences, and 
retrieving the losses of the past. Experience, too, has 
taught me not only that even in the matter of money, 
enough is as good as a feast, but that there are, in 
this world, some things vastly better than the Almighty 
Dollar ! Possibly I may contemplate, at times, the 
painful day when I said : Othello s occupation s 



EICHAED S HIMSELF AGAIN. 523 

gone ; but I shall more frequently cherish the memory 
of this moment, when I am permitted to announce that 
4 Richard s himself again/ 

" Many people have wondered that a man considered 
so acute as myself should have been deluded into 
embarrassments like mine, and not a few have declared, 
in short metre, that Barnum was a fool/ I can only 
reply that I never made pretensions to the sharpness of 
a pawn-broker, and I hope I shall never so entirely lose 
confidence in human nature as to consider every man a 
scamp by instinct, or a rogue by necessity. It is better 
to be deceived sometimes, than to distrust always, says 
Lord Bacon, and I agree with him. 

" Experience is said to be a hard schoolmaster, but I 
should be sorry to feel that this great lesson in adversity 
has not brought forth fruits of some value. I needed 
the discipline this tribulation has given me, and I really 
feel, after all, that this, like many other apparent 
evils, was only a blessing in disguise. Indeed, I may 
mention that the very clock factory which I built in 
Bridgeport, for the purpose of bringing hundreds of 
workmen to that city, has been purchased and qua 
drupled in size by the Wheeler and Wilson Sewing 
Machine Company, and is now filled with intelligent 
New England mechanics, whose families add two thou 
sand to the population, and who are doing a great work 
in building up and beautifying that flourishing city. So 
that the same concern which prostrated me seerns 
destined as a most important agent towards my recuper 
ation. I am certain that the popular sympathy has 
been with me from the beginning ; and this, together with 
a consciousness of rectitude, is more than an offset to 
all the vicissitudes to which I have been subjected. 



524 RICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIN. 

" In conclusion, I beg to assure you and the public that 
my chief pleasure, while health and strength are spared 
me, will be to cater for your and their healthy amuse 
ment and instruction. In future, such capabilities as I 
possess will be devoted to the maintenance of this 
Museum as a popular place of family resort, in which 
all that is novel and interesting shall be gathered from 
the four quarters of the globe, and which ladies and 
children may visit at all times unattended, without 
danger of encountering anything of an objectionable 
nature. The dramas introduced in the Lecture Room 
will never contain a profane expression or a vulgar 
allusion ; on the contrary, their tendency will always be 
to encourage virtue, and frown upon vice. 

"I have established connections in Europe, which will 
enable me to produce here a succession of interesting 
novelties otherwise inaccessible. Although I shall be 
personally present much of the time, and hope to meet 
many of my old acquaintances, as well as to form many 
new ones, I am sure you will be glad to learn that I 
have re-secured the services of one of the late proprie 
tors, and the active manager of this Museum, Mr. John 
Greenwood, Jr. As he is a modest gentleman, who 
would be the last to praise himself, allow me to add 
that he is one to whose successful qualities as a caterer 
for the popular entertainments, the crowds that have 
often filled this building may well bear testimony. But, 
more than this, he is the unobtrusive one to whose 
integrity, diligence and devotion, I owe much of my 
present position of self-congratulation. Mr. Greenwood 
will hereafter act as assistant manager, while his late 
co-partner, Mr. Butler, has engaged in another branch 
of business. Once more, thanking you all for your 



HICHAIID S HIMSELF AGAIK 52^ 

kind welcome, I bid you, till the re-opening, * an affec 
tionate adieu. " 

This off-hand speech was received with almost tumult 
uous applause. At nearly fifty years of age, I was now 
once more before the public with the promise to put 
on a full head of steam, to " rush things," to give 
double or treble the amount of attractions ever before 
offered at the Museum, and to devote all my own time 
and services to the enterprise. In return, I asked that 
the public should give my efforts the patronage they 
merited, and the public took me at my word. The 
daily number of visitors at once more than doubled, 
and my exertions to gratify them with rapid changes 
and novelties never tired. 

The announcement that " Eichard s himself again " . 
that I was at last out of the financial entanglement was 
variously received in the community. That portion of 
the press which had followed me with abuse when I was 
down, under the belief that my case was past recov 
ery, were chary in allusions to the new state of things, 
or passed them over without comment. The sycophants 
always knew I would get up again, " and said so at the 
time ; " the many and noble journals which had stood 
by me and upheld me in my misfortunes, were of course 
rejoiced, and their words of sincere congratulation gave 
me a higher satisfaction than I have power of language 
to acknowledge. Letters of congratulation came in upon 
me from every quarter. Friendly hands that had never 
been withheld during the long period of my misfortune, 
w r ere now extended with a still heartier grip. I never 
knew till now the warmth and number of my friends. 

My editorial friend, Mr. Kobert Bonner, of the New 
York Ledger, sincerely congratulated me upon my full 



526 RICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIH. 

and complete restoration. I had some new plays which 
were adapted from very popular stories which had been 
written for Mr. Bonner s paper, and I went to him to pur 
chase, if I could, the large cuts he had used to advertise 
these stories in his street placards. He at once generously 
offered to lend them to me as long as I wished to use 
them and tendered me his services in any way. Mr. 
Bonner was the boldest of advertisers, following me 
closely in the field in which I was the pioneer, and to 
his judicious use of printers ink, he owes the fine for 
tune which he so worthily deserves and enjoys. 

Nor must I neglect to state that a large number of 
my creditors who held the clock notes, proved very mag 
nanimous in taking into consideration the gross deception 
which had put me in their power. Not a few of them 
said to me in substance : " you never supposed you had 
made yourself liable for this debt ; you were deluded 
into it ; it is not right that it should be held over you to 
keep you hopelessly down; take- it, and pay me such per 
centage as, under the circumstances, it is possible for 
you to pay." But for such men and such consideration 
I fear I should never have got on my feet again; and of 
the many who rejoiced in my bettered fortune, not a few 
were of this class of my creditors. 

My old friend, the Boston Saturday Evening Gazette, 
which printed a few cheering poetical lines of consola 
tion and hope when I was down, now gave me the fol 
lowing from the same graceful pen, conveying glowing 
words of congratulation at my rise again : 

ANOTHER WORD FOR BARNUM. 

BARNUM, your hand ! The struggle o er, 

You face the world and ask no favor ; 
You stand where you have stood before, 

The old salt hasn t lost its savor. 



RICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIN. 527 

You now can laugh with friends, at foes, 

Ne er heeding Mrs. Grundy s tattle ; 
You ve dealt and taken sturdy blows, 

Regardless of the rabble s prattle. 

Not yours the heart to harbor ill 

Gainst those who ve dealt in trivial jesting ; 
You pass them with the same good will 

Erst shown when they their wit were testing. 
You re the same Barnum that we knew, 

You re good for years, still fit for labor, 
Be as of old, be bold and true, 

Honest as man, as friend, as neighbor. 

^-yv^or r"^ imrf J-yvijst fr5 /*h u-lT 

At about this period, the following poem was pub 
lished in a Potts ville, Pa., paper, and copied by many 
journals of the day: 

A HEALTH TO BARNUM. 

COMPANIONS ! fill your glasses round, 

And drink a health to one 
Who has few coming after him, 

To do as he has done ; 
"Who made a fortune for himself, 

Made fortunes, too, for many, 
Yet wronged no bosom of a sigh, 

No pocket of a penny. 
Come ! shout a gallant chorus, 

And make the glasses ring, 
Here s health and luck to Barimra! 

The Exhibition King. 

Who lured the Swedish Nightingale 

To Western woods to come? 
Who prosperous and happy made 

The life of little Thumb? 
Who oped Amusement s golden door 

So cheaply to the crowd, 
| And taught Morality to smile 

On all his stage allowed? 
Come ! shout a gallant chorus, 

Until the glasses ring, 
Here s health and luck to Barnum! 

The Exhibition King. 

And when the sad reverses came, 

As come they may to all, 
Who stood a Hero, bold and true, 

Amid his fortune s fall? 






528 HICHARD S HIMSELF AGAIK. 

"Who to the utmost yielded up 

What Honor could not keep, 
Then took the field of life again 

With courage calm and deep? 
Come ! shout a gallant chorus, 
it.. Until the glasses danee, 

Here s health and luck to Barnum, 

The Napoleon of Finance. 

* ? 

Yet, no our hero would not look 

With smiles on suoh a cup ; 
Throw out the wine with water clear, 

Fill the pure crystal up. 
Then rise, and greet with deep respect, 

The courage he has shown, 
And drink to him who well deserves 

A seat on Fortune s throne. 
Here s health and luck to Barnum 1 

An Elba he has seen, 
And never may his map of life 

Display a St. Helcm! 

PHILADELPHIA. j&is. ANNA BACHB. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

MENAGEEIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

A REMARKABLE CHARACTER OLD GRTZ/LY ADAMS THE CALIFORNIA MENAGE 
RIE TERRIBLY WOUNDED BY BEARS MY UP-TOWNSHOW EXTRAORDI 
NARY WILL AND VIGOR A LESSON FOR MUNCHAUSEN THE CALIFORNIA 
GOLDEN PIGEONS PIGEONS OF ALL COLORS PROCESS OF THEIR CREATION 

M. GUILLAUDEU A NATURALIST DECEIVED THE MOST WONDERFUL 
BIRDS IN THE WORLD THE CURIOSITIES TRANSFERRED TO THE MENAGERIE 

OLD ADAMS TAKEN IN A CHANGE OF COLOR MOTLEY THE ONLY WKAIf 

OLD GRIZZLY UNDECEIVED TOUR OF THE BEAR-TAMER THROUGH THK 
COUNTRY A BEAUTIFUL HUNTING SUIT A LIFE AND DEATH STRUGGLE FOR 
A WAGER OLD ADAMS WINS HIS DEATH THE LAST JOKE ON BARNUM 
THE PRINCE OF WALES VISITS THE MUSEUM I CALL ON THE PRINCE IN 
BOSTON STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS " BEFORE AND AFTER " IN A BARBER SHOP 

HOW TOM HIGGINSON "DID" BARNUM THE MUSEUM FLOURISHING. 

I WAS now fairly embarked on board the good old 
ship American Museum, to try once more my skill as 
captain, and to see what fortune the voyage would bring 
me. Curiosities began to pour into the Museum halls, 
and I was eager for enterprises in the show line, 
whether as part of the Museum itself, or as outside 
accessories or accompaniments. Among the first to 
give me a call, with attractions sure to prove a success, 
was James C. Adams, of hard-earned, grizzly-bear fame. 
This extraordinary man was eminently what is called 
" a character." He was universally known as tf Grizzly 
Adams," from the fact that he had captured a great 
many grizzly bears, at the risk and cost of fearful 
encounters and perils. He was brave, and with his 

bravery there was enough of the romantic in his nature 
24* 



530 MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

to make him a real hero. For many years a hunter and 
trapper in the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains, he 
acquired a recklessness, which, added to his natural 
invincible courage, rendered him one of the most strik 
ing men of the age, and he was emphatically a man of 
pluck. A month after I had re-purchased the Museum, 
he arrived in New York with his famous collection of 
California animals, captured by himself, consisting of 
twenty or thirty immense grizzly bears, at the head of 
which stood " Old Sampson," together with several 
wolves, half a dozen different species of California bears, 
California lions, tigers, buffalo, elk, and " Old Nep 
tune," the great sea-lion from the Pacific. 

Old Adams had trained all these monsters so that with 
him they were as docile as kittens, though many of the 
most ferocious among them would attack a stranger 
without hesitation, if he came within their grasp. In 
fact the training of these animals was no fool s play, as 
Old Adams learned to his cost, for the terrific blows 
which he received from time to time, while teaching 
them " docility," finally cost him his life. 

Adams called on me immediately on his arrival in 
New York. He was dressed in his hunter s suit of 
buckskin, trimmed with the skins and bordered with the 
hanging tails of small Eocky Mountain animals ; his 
cap consisting of the skin of a wolf s head and 
shoulders, from which depended several tails, and under 
which appeared his stiff, bushy, gray hair and his long, 
white, grizzly beard ; in fact Old Adams was quite as 
much of a show as his beasts. They had come around 
Cape Horn on the clipper ship " Golden Fleece," and a 
sea voyage of three and a half months had probably 
not added much to the beauty or neat appearance of 



MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 531 

the old bear-hunter. During our conversation, Grizzly 
Adams took off his cap, and showed me the top of his 
head. His skull was literally broken in. It had on 
various occasions been struck by the fearful paws of his 
grizzly students ; and the last blow, from the bear called 
" General Fremont," had laid open his brain so that its 
workings were plainly visible. I remarked that I 
thought it was a dangerous wound and might possibly 
prove fatal. 

" Yes," replied Adams, " that will fix me out. It had 
nearly healed ; but old Fremont opened it for me, for 
the third or fourth time, before I left California, and 
he did his business so thoroughly, I m a used-up man. 
However I reckon I may live six months or a year 
yet." This was spoken as coolly as if he had been 
talking about the life of a dog. The immediate object 
of " old Adams " in calling upon me was this ; I had 
purchased, a week previously, one-half interest in his 
California menagerie, from a man who had come by 
way of the Isthmus from California, and who claimed 
to own an equal interest with Adams in the show. 
Adams declared that the man had only advanced him 
some money, and did not possess the right to sell 
half of the concern. However, the man held a bill 
of sale for half of the " California Menagerie," and 
old Adams finally consented to accept me as an equal 
partner in the speculation, saying that he guessed I 
could do the managing part, and he would show up 
the animals. I obtained a canvas tent, and erecting 
it on the present site of Wallack s Theatre, Adams 
there opened his novel California Menagerie. On the 
morning of opening, a band of music preceded a pro 
cession of animal cages down Broadway and up the 



532 MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

Bowery, old Adams dressed in his hunting costume, 
heading the line, with a platform wagon on which were 
placed three immense grizzly bears, two of which he 
held by chains, while he was mounted on the back of 
the largest grizzly, which stood in the centre and was 
not secured in any manner whatever. This was the bear 
known as tc General Fremont," and so docile had he 
become, that Adams said he had used him as a pack- 
bear to carry his cooking and hunting apparatus through 
the mountains for six months, and had ridden him hun 
dreds of miles. But apparently docile as wore many 
of these animals, there was not one among them that 
would not occasionally give Adams a sly blow or a sly 
bite when a good chance offered ; hence old Adams 
was but a wreck of his former self, and expressed 
pretty nearly the truth when he said : 

"Mr. Barnum, I am not the man I was five years 
ago. Then I felt able to stand the hug of any griz 
zly living, and was always glad to encounter, single 
handed, any sort of an animal that dared present him 
self. But I have been beaten to a jelly, torn almost 
limb from limb, and nearly chawed up and spit out by 
these treacherous grizzly bears. However, I am good 
for a few months yet, and by that time I hope we shall 
gain enough to make my old woman comfortable, for I 
have been absent from her some years." 

His wife came from Massachusetts to New York and 
nursed him. Dr. Johns dressed his wounds every day, 
and not only told Adams he could never recover, but 
assured his friends, that probably a very few weeks 
would lay him in his grave. But Adams was as firm as 
adamant and as resolute as a lion. Among the thousands 
who saw him dressed in his grotesque hunter s suit, 



MENAGEEIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 533 

and witnessed the seeming vigor with which he " per 
formed" the savage monsters, beating and whipping 
them into apparently the most perfect docility, probably 
not one suspected that this rough, fierce looking, power 
ful demi-savage, as he appeared to be, was suffering 
intense pain from his broken skull and fevered system, 
and that nothing kept him from stretching himself on 
his death-bed but his most indomitable and extraordi 
nary will. 

Old Adams liked to astonish others, as he often did, 
with his astounding stories, but no one could astonish 
him ; he had seen everything and knew everything, and 
I was anxious to get a chance of exposing this weak 
point to him. A fit occasion soon presented itself. One 
day, while engaged in my office at the Museum, a man 
with marked Teutonic features and accent approached 
the door and asked if I would like to buy a pair of 
living golden pigeons. 

" Yes," I replied, " I would like a flock of golden 
pigeons, if I could buy them for their weight in silver ; 
for there are* no golden pigeons in existence, unless 
they are made from the pure metal.** 

" You shall see some golden pigeons alive," he replied, 
at the same time entering my office, and closing the door 
after him. He then removed the lid from a small bas 
ket which he carried in his hand, and sure enough, 
there were snugly ensconced a pair of beautiful, living 
ruff-necked pigeons, as yellow as saffron, and as bright 
as a double-eagle fresh from the mint. 

I confess I was somewhat staggered at this sight and 
quickly asked the man where those birds came from. A 
dull, lazy smile crawled over the sober face of my Ger 
man visitor, as he replied in a slow, guttural torxg , of 
voice i 



534 MENAGEBIE AKD MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

" What you think yourself? " 

Catching his meaning, I quickly replied: 

" I think it is. a humbug." 

" Of course, I know you will say so ; because you 
* forstha such things ; so I shall not try to humbug you ; 
I have color them myself." 

On further inquiry I learned that this German was a 
chemist, and that he possessed the art of coloring birds 
any hue desired, and yet retain a natural gloss on the 
feathers, which gave every shade the appearance of 
reality. 

" I can paint a green pigeon or a blue pigeon, a gray 
pigeon or a black pigeon, a brown pigeon or a pigeon 
half blue or half green," said the German ; " and if you 
prefer it, I can paint them pink or purple, or give you 
a little of each color, and make you a rainbow pigeon." 

The " rainbow pigeon " did not strike me as partic 
ularly desirable ; but thinking here was a good chance 
to catch " Grizzly Adams," I bought the pair of golden 
pigeons for ten dollars, and sent them up to the " Happy 
Family " (where I knew Adams would soon see them), 
marked, " Golden Pigeons, from California." Mr. Tay 
lor, the great pacificator, who had charge of the Happy 
Family, soon came down in a state of excitement. 

" Really, Mr. Barnum," said he, " I could not think 
of putting those elegant golden pigeons into the Happy 
Family, they are too valuable a bird, and they might 
get injured ; they are by far the most beautiful pigeons 
I ever saw ; and as they are so rare, I would not jeopar 
dize their lives for anything." 

" Well," said I, " you may put them in a separate 
cage, properly labelled." 

Monsieur Guillaudeu, the naturalist and taxidermist 



MENAGEBIE AtfD MtTSETJM MEMORANDA. 535 

of the Museum, had been attached to that establishment 
since the year it was founded, in 1810. He is a French 
man, and has read nearly everything upon natural his 
tory that was ever published in his own or in the Eng 
lish language. When he saw the "Golden Pigeons 
from California," he was considerably astonished. He 
examined them with great delight for half an hour, 
expatiating upon their beautiful color and the near 
resemblance which every feature bore to the American 
ruff-necked pigeon. He soon came to my office, and 
said: 

" Mr. Barnum, these golden pigeons are superb, but 
they cannot be from California. Audubon mentions no 
such bird in his work upon American Ornithology." 

I told him he had better take Audubon home with 
him that night, and perhaps by studying him attentively 
he would see occasion to change his mind. 

The next day, the old naturalist called at my office 
and remarked : 

" Mr. Barnum, those pigeons are a more rare bird 
than you imagine. They are not mentioned by Linnaeus, 
Cuvier, Goldsmith, or any other writer on natural 
history, so far as I have been able to discover. I 
expect they must have come from some unexplored 
portion of Australia." 

" Never mind," I replied, " we may get more light on 
the subject, perhaps, before long. We will continue to 
label them California Pigeons until we can fix their 
nativity elsewhere." 

The next morning, " Old Grizzly Adams," passed 
through the Museum when his eyes fell on the " Golden 
California Pigeons." He looked a moment and doubtless 
admired. He soon after came to my office. 



536 MENAGEKIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

" Mr. Barnum," said he," you must let me have those 
California pigeons." 

" I can t spare them," I replied. 

" But you must spare them. All the birds and 
animals from California ought to be together. You 
own half of my California menagerie, and you must 
lend me those pigeons." 

" Mr. Adams, they are too rare and valuable a bird to 
be hawked about in that manner." 

" Oh, do n t be a fool," replied Adams. " Eare bird, 
indeed ! Why they are just . as common in California 
as any other pigeon ! I could have brought a hundred 
of them from San Francisco, if I had thought of it." 

" But why did you not think of it? " I asked, with a 
suppressed smile. 

" Because they are so common there," said Adams, 
u I did not think they would be any curiosity here. I 
have eaten them in pigeon-pies hundreds of times, and 
have shot them by the thousands ! " 

I was ready to burst with laughter to see how a*eadily 
Adams swallowed the bait, but maintaining the most 
rigid gravity, I replied : 

" Oh well, Mr. Adams, if they are really so common 
in California, you had probably better take them, and 
you may write over and have half a dozen pairs sent 
to me for the Museum." 

" All right," said Adams, " I will send over to a 
friend in San Francisco, and you shall have them here 
in a couple of months." 

I told Adams that, for certain reasons, I would prefer 
to have him change the label so as to have it read: 
" Golden Pigeons from Australia." 

" Well, I will call them what you like," said Adams; 



MENAGEBIE AD MUSEUM MEMORANDA, 537 

" I suppose they are probably about as plenty ill 
Australia as they are in California." 

Six or eight weeks after this incident, I was in the 
California Menagerie, and noticed that the " Golden 
Pigeons " had assumed a frightfully mottled appearance. 
Their feathers had grown out and they were half 
white. Adams had been so busy with his bears that 
he had not noticed the change. I called him up to the 
pigeon cage, and remarked : 

"Mr. Adams, I fear you will lose your Golden 
Pigeons ; they must be very sick ; I observe they are 
turning quite pale/ 

Adams looked at them a moment with astonishment, 
then turning to me, and seeing that I could not suppress 
a smile, he indignantly exclaimed : 

" Blast the Golden Pigeons ! You had better take 
them back to the Museum. You can t humbug me 
with your painted pigeons ! " 

This was too much, and " I laughed till I cried," to 
witness the mixed look of astonishment and vexation 
which marked the grizzly features of old Adams. 

After the exhibition on Thirteenth Street and Broad 
way had been open six weeks, the doctor insisted that 
Adams should sell out his share in the animals and 
settle up all his worldly affairs, for he assured^ him that 
he was growing weaker every day, and his earthly exis 
tence must soon terminate. " I shall live a good deal 
longer than you doctors think for," replied Adams 
doggedly ; and then, seeming after all to realize the 
truth of the doctor s assertion, he turned to me and said : 
" Well, Mr. Barnum, you must buy me out." He 
named his price for his half of the " show," and 1 
accepted his offer. We had arranged to exhibit the 



538 MENAGEEIE AND MTTSEtTM MEMORANDA. 

bears in Connecticut and Massachusetts during the sum 
mer, in connection with a circus, and Adams insisted 
that I should hire him to travel for the season and 
exhibit the bears in their curious performances. He 
offered to go for $60 per week and travelling expenses 
of himself and wife. I replied that I would gladly 
engage him as long as he could stand it, but I advised 
him to give up business and go to his home in Massa 
chusetts ; " for," I remarked, " you are growing weaker 
every day, and at best cannot stand it more than a fort 
night." 

" What will you give me extra if I will travel and 
exhibit the bears every day for ten weeks ? " added old 
Adams, eagerly. 

" Five hundred dollars," I replied, with a laugh. 

" Done ! " exclaimed Adams, " I will do it, so draw 
up an agreement to that effect at once. But mind you, 
draw it payable to my wife, for I may be too weak to 
attend to business after the ten weeks are up, and if I 
perform my part of the contract, I want her to get the 
$500 without any trouble." 

I drew up a contract to pay him $60 per week for his 
services, and if he continued to exhibit the bears for 
ten consecutive weeks I was then to hand him, or his 
wife, $500 extra. 

" You have lost your $500 ! " exclaimed Adams on 
taking the contract ; " for I am bound to live and earn it." 

" I hope you may, with all my heart, and a hundred 
years more if you desire it," I replied. 

" Call me a fool if I do n t earn the $500 ! " exclaimed 
Adams, with a triumphant laugh. 

The " show " started off in a few days, and at the 
end of a fortnight I met it at Hartford, Connecticut. 



MENAGEKIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 539 

" Well," said I, " Adams, you seem to stand it pretty 
well. I hope you and your wife are comfortable ? " 

" Yes," he replied, with a laugh ; " and you may as 
well try to be comfortable, too, for your $500 is a 
goner." 

" All right," I replied, " I hope you will grow bet- 
ter every day." 

But I saw by his pale face and other indications 
that he was rapidly failing. In three weeks more, I 
met him again at New Bedford, Massachusetts. It 
seemed to me, then, that he could not live a week, for 
his eyes were glassy and his hands trembled, but his 
pluck was as great as ever. 

" This hot weather is pretty bad for me," he said, 
" but my ten weeks are half expired, and I am good 
for" your $500, and, probably, a month or two longer." 

This was said with as much bravado as if he was 
offering to bet upon a horse-race. I offered to pay 
him half of the $500 if he would give up and go home ; 
but he peremptorily declined making any compromise 
whatever. I met him the ninth week in Boston. He 
had failed considerably since I last saw him, but he still 
continued to exhibit the bears although he was too 
weak to lead them in, and he chuckled over his almost 
certain triumph. I laughed in return, and sincerely 
congratulated him on his nerve and probable success. 
I remained with him until the tenth week was finished, 
and handed him his $500. He took it with a leer of 
satisfaction, and remarked, that he was sorry I was a 
teetotaler, for he would like to stand treat! 

Just before the menagerie left New York, I had paid 
$150 for a new hunting suit, made of beaver skins, sim 
ilar to the one which Adams had worn. This I intended 



540 MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMOBANDA. 

for Herr Driesbach, the animal tamer, who was engaged 
by me to take the place of Adams, whenever he should 
be compelled to give up. Adams, on starting from 
New York, asked me to loan this new dress to him to 
perform in once in a while in a fair day, where he had 
a large audience, for his own costume was considera 
bly soiled. I did so, and now when I handed him 
his $500, he remarked : 

" Mr. Barnum, I suppose you are going to give me 
this new hunting dress I " 

" Oh, no," I replied, " I got that for your successor, 
who will exhibit the bears to-morrow ; besides, you have 
no possible use for it." 

" Now, do n t be mean, but lend me the dress, if you 
won t give it to me, for I want to wear it home to my 
native village." 

I could not refuse the poor old man anything, and I 
therefore replied : 

" Well, Adams, I will lend you the dress ; but you 
will send it back to me I " 

" Yes, when I have done with it," he replied, with an 
evident chuckle of triumph. 

I thought to myself, he will soon be done with it, and 
replied : " That s all right." 

A new idea evidently struck him, for, with a brighten 
ing look of satisfaction, he said : 

" Now, Barnum, you have made a good thing out of 
the California menagerie, and so have I ; but you will 
make a heap more. So if you won t give me this new 
hunter s dress, just draw a little writing, and sign it, say 
ing that I may wear it until I have done with it." 

Of course, I knew that in a few days at longest, 
he would be " done " with this world altogether, 



MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 541 

and, to gratify him, I cheerfully drew and signed 
the paper. 

"Come, old Yankee, I ve got you this time see if 
I haint ! " exclaimed Adams, with a broad grin, as he 
took the paper, 

I smiled, and said : 

" All right, my dear fellow ; the longer you live the 
better I shall like it." 

We parted, and he went to Neponset, a small town 
near Boston, where his wife and daughter lived. He 
took at once to his bed, and never rose from it again. 
The excitement had passed away, and his vital energies 
could accomplish no more. The fifth day after arriving 
home, the physician told him he could not live until the 
next morning. He received the announcement in per 
fect calmness, and with the most apparent indifference ; 
then, turning to his wife, with a smile he requested her 
to have him buried in the new hunting suit. "For," 
said he, " Barnum agreed to let me have it until I have 
done with it, and I was determined to fix his flint this 
time. He shall never see that dress again." His wife 
assured him that his request should be complied with. 
He then sent for the clergyman and they spent several 
hours in communing together. 

Adams, who, rough and untutored, had nevertheless, 
a natur5f*T>k)quence, and often put his thoughts in good 
language, said to the clergyman, that though he had 
told some pretty big stories about his bears, he had 
always endeavored to do the straight thing between man 
and man. " I have attended preaching every day, Sun 
days and all," said he, " for the last six years. Some 
times an old grizzly gave me the sermon, sometimes it 
was a panther ; often it was the thunder and lightning, 



542 MENAGE1UE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

the tempest, or the hurricane on the peaks of the Sierra 
Nevada, or in the gorges of the Rocky Mountains ; but 
whatever preached to me, it always taught me the 
majesty of the Creator, and revealed to me the undying 
and unchanging love of our kind Father in heaven. 
Although I am a pretty rough customer," continued tha 
dying man, " I fancy my heart is in about the right place, 
and look with confidence for that rest which I so much 
need, and which I have never enjoyed upon earth." He 
then desired the clergyman to pray with him, after which 
he took him by the hand, thanked him for his kindness, 
and bade him farewell. In another hour his spirit had 
taken its flight. It was said by those present, that his 
face lighted into a smile as the last breath escaped him, 
and that smile he carried into his grave. Almost his last 
words were : " Won t Barnum open his eyes when he 
finds I have humbugged him by being buried in his new 
hunting dress I " That dress was indeed the shroud in 
which he was entombed. 

And that was the last on earth of " Old Grizzly 
Adams." 

After the death of Adams, the grizzly bears and 
other animals were added to the collection in my 
Museum, and I employed Herr Driesbach, the celebrated 
lion-tamer, as an exhibitor. Some time afterwards the 
bears were sold to a menagerie company, but H kept 
" old Neptune," the sea-lion, for several years, sending 
him occasionally for exhibition in other cities, as far 
west as Chicago. This noble and ferocious animal was 
a very great curiosity and attracted great attention. He 
was kept in a large tank, which was supplied with salt 
water every day from the Fall River steamboats, whose 
deck hands filled my barrels on every passage to the 



MENAGEKIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 543 

city with salt water from the deepest part of Long 
Island Sound. On his tours through the country the 
sea-lion lived very well in fresh water. 

It w r as at one time my serious intention to engage in 
an American Indian Exhibition on a stupendous scale. 
I proposed to secure at the far West not less than one 
hundred of the best specimens of full-blood Indians, 
with their squaws and papooses, their paint, ponies, 
dresses, and weapons, for a general tour throughout the 
United States and Europe. The plan comprehended a 
grand entry at every town and city where the Indians 
were to exhibit the Indians in all the glory of paint 
and feathers, beads and bright blankets, riding on their 
ponies, followed by tame buffaloes, elks and antelopes ; 
then an exhibition on a lot large enough to admit of 
a display of all the Indian games and dances, their 
method of hunting, their style of cooking, living, etc. 
Such an exhibition is perfectly practicable now to 
any one who has the capital and tact to undertake it, 
and a sure fortune would follow the enterprise. 

On the 13th of October, 1860, the Prince of Wales, 
then making a tour in the United States, in company 
with his suite, visited the American Museum. This was 
a very great compliment, since it was the only place of 
amusement the Prince attended in this country. Un 
fortunately, I was in Bridgeport at the time, and the 
Museum was in charge of my manager, Mr. Green 
wood. Knowing that the name of the American 
Museum was familiar throughout Europe, I was quite 
confident of a call from the Prince, and from regard to 
his filial feelings I had, a day or two after his arrival 
in New York, ordered to be removed to a dark closet 
a frightful wax figure of his royal mother, which, for 



544 MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

nineteen years, had excited the admiration of the 
million and which bore a placard with the legend, 
" An exact likeness of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, 
taken from life." Mr. Greenwood, who was an Eng 
lishman, was deeply impressed with the condescension 
of the Prince, and backed his way through the halls, 
followed by the Prince, the Duke of Newcastle, and 
other members of the royal suite, and he actually 
trembled as he attempted to do the reception honors. 

Presently they arrived in front of the platform on 
which were exhibited the various living human curiosities 
and monstrosities. The tall giant woman made her best 
bow ; the fat boy waddled out and kissed his hand ; 
the " negro turning white " showed his ivory and his 
spots; the dwarfs kicked up their heels, and like the 
clown in the ring, cried " here we are again" ; the 
living skeleton stalked out, reminding the Prince, per 
haps, of the wish of Sidney Smith in a hot day that 
he could lay off his flesh and sit in his bones ; the 
Albino family went thr6ugh their performances ; the 
" What is it]" grinned ; the Infant Drummer-boy beat 
a tattoo ; and the Aztec children were shown and 
described as specimens of a remarkable and ancient 
race in Mexico and Central America. The Prince and 
his suite seemed pleased, and Greenwood was duly 
delighted. He was, however, quite overwhelmed with 
the responsibility of his position, especially whenever 
the Prince addressed him, and leading the way to the 
wax figure hall he called attention to the figures of the 
Siamese Twins and the Quaker Giant and his wife. 

" I suppose," said the Prince, " these figures are 
representatives of different living curiosities exhibited 
from time to time in your Museum ] " 



MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 545 

" Yes, your Royal Highness, all of them," replied 
the confused Greenwood, and as " all of them " 
included very fair figures of the Emperors Nicholas and 
Napoleon, the Empress Eugenie, and other equally dis 
tinguished personages, the Prince must have thought 
that the Museum had contained, in times past, some 
famous "living curiosities." On leaving the Museum, 
the Prince asked to see Mr. Barnum, and when he was 
told that I was out of town, he remarked : " We have 
missed the most interesting feature of the establishment." 
A few days afterwards, when the Prince was in Boston, 
happening to be in that city, I sent my card to him at 
the Revere House, and was cordially received. He 
smiled when I reminded him that I had seen him when 
he was a little boy, on the occasion of one of my visits 
to Buckingham Palace with General Tom Thumb. The 
Prince told me that he was much pleased with his 
recent inspection of my Museum, and that he and his 
suite had left their autographs in the establishment, as 
mementos of their visit. 

When I arrived in Boston, by the by, on this visit, 
the streets were thronged with the military and citizens 
assembled to receive the Prince of Wales, and I had great 
difficulty, in starting from the depot to the Revere House, 
in getting through the assembled crowd. At last, a 
policeman espied me, and taking me for Senator Stephen 
A. Douglas, he cried out, at the top of his voice : 
" Make way there for Judge Douglas s carriage." The 
crowd opened a passage for my carriage at short notice, 
and shouted out " Douglas, Douglas, hurrah for Doug 
las." I took off my hat and bowed, smiling from the 
windows on each side of my carriage ; the cheers and 
enthusiasm increased as I advanced, and all the way to 



546 MENAGEKIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

the Eevere House I continued to bow Judge Douglas s 
grateful acknowledgments for the enthusiastic recep 
tion. There must have been at least fifty thousand peo 
ple who joined in this spontaneous demonstration in 
honor of Judge Douglas. 

When Douglas ran for the presidency in 1860, my 
democratic friend, J. D. Johnson, bet me a hat that the 
Judge would be elected. Douglas passed through 
Bridgeport on his electioneering tour down East, and 
made a brief speech from the rear platform of the car, 
to the people assembled at the depot. The next day 
Mr. Johnson met me in a crowded barber shop and 
asked me if I had ever seen Douglas I I answered 
that I had, and Johnson then asked what sort of a 
looking man he was. Eemembering our hat bet, and 
knowing that Johnson expected a pretty hard descrip 
tion of his favorite candidate, I said : 

"He is a red-nosed, blear-eyed, dumpy, swaggering 
chap, looking like a regular bar-room loafer." 

" I thought as much," said Johnson, " for here is the 
New Haven paper of this morning, which says that he 
is the very image, in personal appearance, of P. T. Bar- 



num." 



When the roar that followed subsided, I told John 
son I must have had some other man in my mind s eye, 
when I answered his question. 

* One day I went out of the Museum in great haste to 
Tom Higginson s barber shop, in the Park Hotel, where 
my daily tonsorial operations were performed, and find 
ing a rough-looking Hibernian just ahead of me, I told 
him that if he would be good enough to give me his 
" turn," I would pay his bill ; to which he consented, and 
taking his turn and my own shave, I speedily departed, 



MENAGERIE AND MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 547 

saying to Tom, as I went out : " Fix out this man, 
and for whatever he has done I will pay the bill." 

Two or three clerks and reporters, who were in the 
shop, and who knew me, put their freshly-dressed heads 
together and suggested to Tom that here was an oppor 
tunity to perpetrate a practical joke on Barnum, and 
they explained the plan, in which Higginson readily 
acquiesced. 

"Now," says one of them to the Irishman, "get 
everything done which you like, and it will cost you 
nothing ; it will be charged to the gentleman to whom 
you gave your turn." 

" Sure and a liberal gintleman he must be," said 
Pat. 

" Will you take a bath?" asked the barber. 

" That indade I will, if the gintleman pays," was the 
reply. 

When he came out of the bath he was asked if he 
would be shampooed. " And what is that ? " asked 
the bewildered Hibernian. The process was explained 
and he consented to go through with the operation. 
Thereafter, moved and instigated thereto by the barber 
and his confederates, Pat permitted Higginson to dye 
his red haijr and whiskers a beautiful brown, and then 
to curl them. When all was done, the son of Erin 
looked in the mirror and could scarcely believe the 
1 /idence of his own eyes. A more thorough transforma 
tion could scarcely be conceived, and as he went out 
of the door he said to Higginson : 

" Give the generous gintleman me best complements 
and tell him he can have my turn ony day on the same 
terms." 

One of the newspaper reporters, who assisted in the 



048 MENAGEKIE AXD MUSEUM MEMORANDA. 

joke, published the whole story the next day, and when 
I called at the barber shop a bill for $1.75 was pre 
sented, which, of course, I could do no less than to pay. 
The joke went the rounds of the papers ; and after a 
few months, an English friend sent me the whole story 
in a copy of the London Family Herald a publication 
that issues about half a million of copies weekly. Mr. 
Currier, the lithographer, put the joke into pictorial 
form, representing the Irishman as he appeared before, 
also as he appeared after the " barbar-ous " operations. 
After all, it was a good advertisement for me, as well as 
for Higginson ; and it would have been pretty difficult 
to serve me up about these times in printers ink in any 
form that I should have objected to. 

Meanwhile, the Museum flourished better than ever ; 
and I began to make large holes in the mortgages 
which covered the property of my wife in New York 
and in Connecticut. Still, there was an immense amount 
of debts resting upon all her real estate, and nothing 
but time, economy, industry and diligence woul(J remove 
the burdens. 



CHAPTER, XXXV. 

EAST BRIDGEPORT. 

4XOTHER NEW HOME LINDENCROFT PROGRESS OF MY PET CITY THE 
CHESTNUT WOOD FIRE HOW IT BECAME OLD HICKORY INDUCEMENTS TO 
SETTLERS MY OFFER EVERY MAN HIS OWN HOUSE-OWNER WHISKEY 
AND TOBACCO RISE IN REAL-ESTATE PEMBROKE LAKE WASHINGTON 
PARK GREAT MANUFACTORIES W1IKELWK AND WILSON SCHUYLER, 
HARTLEY AND GRAHAM HOTCHKISS, SON AND COMPANY STREET NAMES 
MANY THOUSAND SHADE TREES BUSINESS IN THE NEW CITY UNPARAL 
LELED GROWTH AND PROSPERITY PROBABILITIES IN THE FUTURE 
SITUATION OF BRIDGEPORT ITS ADVANTAGES AND PROSPECTS THE SECOND, 
IF NOT THE FORE3IOST CITY IN CONNECTICUT. 

FOR nearly five years my family had been knocked 
about, the sport of adverse fortune, without a settled 
home. Sometimes we boarded, and at other times we 
lived in a small hired house. Two of my daughters 
were married, and my youngest daughter, Pauline, was 
away at boarding school. The health of my wife was 
much impaired, and she especially needed a fixed 
residence which she could call " home." Accord 
ingly, in 1860, I built a pleasant house adjoining that 
of my daughter Caroline, in Bridgeport, and one 
hundred rods west of the grounds of Iranistan. I had 
originally a tract of twelve acres, but half of it had 
been devoted to my daughter, and on the other half 
I now proposed to establish my own residence. To 
prepare the site it .was necessary to cart in several 
thousands of loads of dirt to fill up the hollow and to 
make the broad, beautiful lawn, in the centre of which 
I erected the new house, and after supplying the place 



550 EAST BKIDGEPOKT. 

with fountains, shrubbery, statuary and all that cotdd 
adorn it, I named my new home " Lindencroft." It 
was, in truth, a very delightful place, complete and 
convenient in all respects, and there is scarcely a more 
beautiful residence in Bridgeport now. 

Meanwhile, my pet city, East Bridgeport, was pro 
gressing with giant strides. The Wheeler and Wilson 
Sewing Machine manufactory had been quadrupled in 
size, and employed about a thousand workmen. Nu 
merous other large factories had been built, and scores 
of first-class houses were erected, besides many neat, but 
smaller and cheaper houses for laborers and mechanics. 
That piece of property, which, but eight years before, 
had been farm land, with scarcely six houses upon the 
whole tract, was now a beautiful new city, teeming with 
busy life, and looking as neat as anew pin. The great 
est pleasure which I then took, or even now take, was 
in driving through those busy streets, admiring the 
beautiful houses and substantial factories, with their 
thousands of prosperous workmen, and reflecting that I 
had, in so great a measure, been the means of adding 
all this life, bustle and wealth to the City of Bridgeport. 
And reflection on this subject only confirmed in my 
mind the great doctrine of compensations. How plain 
was it in my case, that an " apparent evil " was a " bles 
sing in disguise ! " How palpable was it now, that, had 
it not been for the clock failure, this prosperity could 
not have existed here. An old citizen of*Bridgeport 
used to say to me, when, a few years before, he had 
noticed my zeal in trying to build tip the east side : 

" Mr. Barnum, your contemplated new city is like a 
fire made with chestnut wood ; it burns so long as you 
keep blowing it, and when you stop, it goes out ! " 



^ 



EAST BRIDGEPORT. 551 

I like, now-a-days to laugh at him about his " chestnut 
wood fire." Of course, I did blow the fire in all possi 
ble ways, but the result proved that the wood which 
fed the fire was not chestnut, but the best and soundest 
old hickory. The situation was everything that could 
be desired, and I knew that in order to induce manufac 
turers to establish their business in the new city, a 
prime requisite was the advantage I could oifer to em 
ployers, agents and workmen, to secure good and 
cheap homes -in the vicinity of their place of labor. 
To show the method I adopted to secure this end, I 
copy from the files of the Bridgeport Standard, an offer 
which I made, and the editorial comment thereon. 
This offer, I may add, was not so much for the purpose 
of blowing the fire, which was already fairly roaring 
with a lively blaze, as for the sake of helping those 
who were willing to help themselves, and, at the same 
time, contribute to my happiness, as well as their 
own, by forwarding the growth of the new city. 

"NEW HOUSES IN EAST BRIDGEPORT. 
"EVERY MAN TO OWN THE HOUSE HE LIVES IN. 

" There is a demand at the present moment for two hundred more dwellinsr- 
houses in East Bridgeport. It is evident that if the money expended in rent 
can be paid towards the purchase of a house and lot, the person so paying 
will in a few years own the house he lives in, instead of always remaining a ten 
ant. In view of this fact, I propose to loan money at six per cent to any num 
ber, not exceeding fifty, industrious, temperate and respectable individuals, who 
desire to build their own houses. 

" They may engage their own builders, and build according to any reasonable 
plan (which I may approve), or I will have it done for them at the lowest possi 
ble rate, without a farthing profit to myself or agent, I putting the lot at a fair 
price and advancing eighty per cent of the entire cost ; the other party to furnish 
twenty per cent in labor, material or money, and they may pay me in small 
sums weekly, monthly or quarterly, any amount not less than three per cent 
per quarter, all of which is to apply on the money advanced until it is paid. 

" It has been ascertained that by purchasing building materials for cash, and in 
large quantities, nice dwellings, painted and furnished* with green blinds, can. 
be erected at a cost of $1,500 or $1,800, for house, lot, fences, etc., all complete. 



552 EAST BRIDGEPORT. 

and if six or eight friends prefer to join in erecting a neat block of houses with 
verandas in front, the average cost need not exceed about $1,300 per house and 
lot. If, however, some parties would prefer a single or double house that would 
cost $2,500 to $3,000, I shall be glad to meet their views. 

P. T. BARNUM. 
"February 16, 1864." 

The editor of the Standard printed the following 
upon my announcement: 

"AN ADVANTAGEOUS OFFER. We have read with great pleasure Mr. 
Barnum s advertisement, offering assistance to any number of persons, not 
exceeding fifty, in the erection of dwelling houses. This plan combines all the 
advantages and none of the objections of Building Associations. Any individual 
who can furnish in cash, labor, or material, one-fifth only of the amount requisite 
for the erection of a dwelling house, can receive the other four-fifths from Mr. 
Barnum, rent his house and by merely paying what may be considered as only a 
fair rent for a few years, find himself at last the owner, and all further payments 
cease. In the mean time, he can be making such inexpensive improvements in his 
property as would greatly improve its market value, and besides have the 
advantage of any rise in the value of real estate. It is not often that such a 
generous ofier is made to working men. It is a loan on what would be generally 
considered inadequate security, at six per cent, at a time when a much better use 
of money can be made by any capitalist. It is therefore generous. Mr. Barnum 
may make money by the operation. Very well, perhaps he will, but if he does, 
it will be by making others richer, not poorer; by helping those who need assist 
ance, not by hindering them, and we can only wish that every rich man would 
follow such a noble example, and thus, without injury to themselves, give a 
helping hand to those who need it. Success to the enterprise. We hope that 
fifty men will be found before the week ends, each of whom desires in such a 
manner to obtain a roof which he can call his own." 

Quite a number of men at once availed themselves of 
my offer, and eventually succeeded in paying for their 
homes without much effort. I am sorry to add, that rent 
is still paid, month after month, by many men who would 
long ago have owned neat homesteads, free from all 
incumbrances, if they had accepted my proposals and 
had signed and kept the temperance pledge, and given 
up the use of tobacco. The money they have since 
expended for whiskey and tobacco, would have given 
them a house of their own, if the money had been 
devoted to that object, and their positions, socially and 
morally, would have been far better than they are 



EAST BRIDGEPORT. 553 

to-day. How many infatuated men there are in all 
parts of the country, who could now be independent, 
and even owners of their own carriages, but for their 
slavery to these miserable habits ! 

I built a number of houses to let. in order to accom 
modate those who were unable to buy. I find this the 
most unpleasant part of my connection with the new 
city. The interest on the investment, the taxes, repairs, 
wear and tear, and insurance render tenant-houses the 
most unprofitable property to own ; besides which the 
landlord is often looked upon by the tenants as an over 
bearing, grasping man and one whose property it is 
their highest duty to injure as much as possible; for all 
concerned therefore, it is much better that every person 
should somehow manage to own the roof he sleeps 
under. Men are more independent and feel happier 
who live in their own houses ; they keep the premises 
in neater order, and they make better citizens. Hence 
I always encourage poor people to become householders 
if possible, for I find that oftentimes when they have 
lived long in one of my houses they think it very hard if 
the property is not given to them. They argue that the 
landlord is rich and would never feel the loss of one 
little place, not stopping to consider that the aggregate 
of a great many " little places ? thus given away would 
make the landlord poor, nor would the tenants be 
benefited so much by homes that were given to them 
as they would by homes that were the fruits of their 
own industry and economy. 

The land in East Bridgeport was originally pur 
chased by me at from $50 to $75, and from those sums 
to f^OO per acre ; and the average cost of all I bought 
on that side of the river was $200 per acre. Some 



554 EAST BKIDGEPOKT. 

portions of this land are now assessed in the Bridgeport 
tax-list at from $3,000 to $4,000 per acre. At the time 
I joined Mr. Noble in this enterprise, the site we pur 
chased was not a part of the City of Bridgeport. It is 
now, however, a most important section of the city, and 
the three bridges connecting the two banks of the river, 
and originally chartered as toll-bridges, have been 
bought by the city and thrown open as free highways 
to the public. A horse railroad, in which I took one- 
tenth part of the stock, connects the two portions of the 
city, extending westerly beyond Iranistan and Linden- 
croft, while a branch road runs to the beatiful " Sea-side 
Park " on the Sound shore. 

The eastern line of East Bridgeport, when I first pur 
chased so large a portion of the property, was bounded 
by a long, narrow swale or valley of salt meadow, 
through which a small stream passed, and which was 
flooded with salt water at every tide. At considerable 
expense, I erected a dam at the foot of this meadow, 
and thus converted this heretofore filthy, repulsive, 
mosquito-inhabited and malaria-breeding marsh into a 
charming sheet of water, which is now known as Pem 
broke Lake. If this improvement had not been made, 
in all probability the eastern portion of my property 
would never have been devoted to dwelling houses ; as 
it is, Barnum Street has been extended by means of a 
bridge across the lake, and the eastern shore is already 
studded with houses. The land on that side of the lake 
lies in the town of Stratford, and the growth of the new 
settlement promises to be as rapid as that of East 
Bridgeport. 

General Noble, in laying out the first portiofi of 
our new city, named several streets after members 



EAST BRIDGEPORT. 555 

of his own family, and also of mine. Hence, we have 
a "Noble" Street and a noble street it is; a " Bar- 
num " Street ; while other streets are named " William," 
from Mr. Noble ; " Harriet," the Christian name of Mrs, 
Noble ; " Hallett," the maiden name of my wife ; and 
u Caroline," " Helen," and " Pauline," the names of my 
three daughters. There is also the " Barnum School 
District " and school-house ; so that it seems as if, for a 
few scores of years at least, posterity would know who 
were the founders of the new, flourishing and beautiful 
city. We have yet another enduring and ever-growing 
monument in the many thousands of trees which we set 
out and which now line and gratefully shade the streets 
of East Bridgeport. 

Figures can scarcely give an appreciable idea of the 
rapid growth and material prosperity of this important 
portion of the City of Bridgeport ; but the city 
records show that my first purchase of land on that 
side of the river was appraised in the Bridgeport 
assessment list, in October, 1851, at $36,000, while in 
July, 1859, the same real estate, with improvements, less 
the Washington Park, the Public School lot in Barnum 
District, the land for streets, and four church lots, was 
valued in the city assessment list at $1,200,000. When 
we bought the property there were but six old farm 
houses on the entire tract, when the centre bridge was 
built and opened. Now there are on the same land 
hundreds of dwelling-houses, some of them as fine as 
any in the State. Three handsome churches, Methodist, 
Episcopal and Congregational, front on the beautiful 
Washington Park of seven acres, which Mr. Noble and 
myself presented to the city, and which would be worth 
$100,000 to day for building lots. This pleasant park 



556 EAST BRIDGEPORT. 

is enclosed by a substantial iron fence, and contains a 
fine, natural grove of full-grown trees, while the 
surrounding streets are lined with charming residences, 
and, on one or more evenings in the week during the 
summer, the city band, or the Wheeler & Wilson band, 
plays in the Park for the amusement and benefit of the 
citizens of East Bridgeport. 

Some of the largest and most prosperous manufac 
tories in the United States are located in the new city. 
Among these are the Wheeler & Wilson Sewing 
Machine Manufactories, which cover four entire squares, 
with fire-proof buildings, are rapidly extending, and 
employ more than one thousand operators ; the Howe 
Sewing Machine Factory is also an immense edifice, 
employing nearly the same number of men ; Schuyler, 
Hartley, Graham & Company s great cartridge and 
ammunition works, almost supply the armies of the 
world with the means of destruction ; besides these, the 
Winchester Arms Manufactory for making the " twenty- 
shooter breech-loader " ; a large brass manufactory ; an 
immense hat manufactory ; and Hotchkiss, Sons & 
Company s Hardware Manufactory, are among the more 
prominent establishments, and other and like concerns 
are constantly adding. Indeed, at this time (186 9) one- 
fourth of the population and three-fourths of the man 
ufacturing capital and business of Bridgeport are located 
on the east side within limits which, in 1850, contained 
only six old farm houses. 

The following details respecting the business of some 
of the largest establishments will give an idea of the 
manufacturing industries of East Bridgeport. The 
Wheeler and Wilson Manufacturing Company employ 
more than $4,000,000 in their business. Their 



EAST BRIDGEPORT. 557 

employees number ten hundred, and they manufacture 
an average of three hundred sewing machines per day ; 
the total number of machines manufactured up to July 1 , 
1869, is over four hundred thousand, and the factories 
cover six and one-half acres of ground. The Union 
Metallic Cartridge Company, Messrs. Schuyler, Hartley, 
Graham & Co., have a capital of $350,000, employ 
two hundred and fifty men, and manufacture cartridges 
and primers of Berdan s patent military and sporting 
caps, and elastic gun waddings, at the rate of 1,000,000 
cartridges, 720,000 primers, and 720,000 caps per week, 
and to July 1, 1869, they had manufactured 50,000,000 
cartridges. The Bridgeport Brass Company employ 
two hundred men, have a capital of $150,000, and 
manufacture rolled brass wire and tubing, kerosene 
burners, lamp goods, corset steels, oil cans, etc., and roll 
and use in these goods 1,000,000 pounds of brass a 
year. The Winchester Arms Company have a capital 
of $450,000, employ three hundred men, and manufac 
ture the Winchester rifle, cartridges and ammunition. 
The Howe Machine Company have a capital of $300,- 
000, employ five hundred men, and manufacture sewing 
machines at the rate of one hundred and fifty per day. 
Messrs. Hotchkiss and Sons, with a capital of $162,500, 
and one hundred and twenty-five men, manufacture 
hardware, currycombs, game traps, and harness snaps 
to the amount of $20,000 per month. The Bridgeport 
Manufacturing Company, with fifty men, and a capital 
of $300,000, manufacture the American submerged 
pump. The Odorless Eubber Company, with fifty men, 
and $200,000 capital, manufacture soft rubber goods, 
hose, clothing, etc. The American Silver Steel 
Company, manufacture steel from the Mine Hill, Roxbury, 



558 EAST BBIDGEPOKT. 

Connecticut, Spathic ore, and employ two hundred and 
fifty men, and a capital of $500,000. Messrs. Glover 
Sanford and Sons, employ two hundred and fifty 
men, and manufacture two hundred and fifty dozen 
wool hats per day. The New York Tap and Die 
Company, with a capital of $150,000, and one hundred 
men, manufacture taps, dies, drills, bits, etc. These 
companies thus employ about six and one-half millions 
in capital, and nearly twenty-seven hundred men, and 
expend more than $2,000,000 a year in wages to the 
operatives. 

In addition, there are several substantial brick blocks 
devoted to business ; there are book stores, drug stores, 
dry goods stores, jewelry stores, boot and shoe shops 
and stores, tailoring and furnishing establishments, more 
than twenty grocery stores, six meat markets, three fish 
markets, coal, wood, lumber and brick yards, steam 
flouring mills, and a large brick hotel. The water and 
gas supplies are the same as those afforded on the other 
side of the river. It is quite within the bounds of 
probability that in the course of twenty years, the east 
side will contain the larger proportion of the inhabitants. 
A post-office and a railway station will soon be built 
on that side of the river. A new iron bridge is about 
to connect the two parts of the city, affording additional 
facilities for inter-communication. In 1868, March 2, 
a special committee of the Common Council reported 
the census of the City of Bridgeport as follows : First 
ward, 7,397; Second ward, 4,237; Third ward, East 
Bridgeport, 5,497 ; total, 17,131. In this enumeration, 
our new city contained nearly one-third of the entire 
population, and its increase since has been far more 
rapid than that of any other part of Bridgeport. 



EAST BRIDGEPORT. 559 

The entire City of Bridgeport is advancing in popula 
tion and prosperity with a rapidity far beyond that of 
any other city in Connecticut, and everything indicates 
that it will soon take its proper position as the second, 
if not the first, city in the State. Its situation as the 
terminus of the Naugatuck and the Housatonic rail 
ways, its accessibility to New York, with its two daily 
steamboats to and from the metropolis, and its dozen 
daily trains of the New York and Boston and Shore 
Line railways, are all elements of prosperity which are 
rapidly telling in favor of this busy, beautiful and 
charming city. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

MOKE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

ANOTHER RE-OPENING A CHERRY-COLORED CAT THE CAT LET OFT OF THU 
BAG MY FIRST WHALING EXPEDITION PLANS FOR CAPTURE SUCCESS 
OF THE SCHEME TRANSPORTING LIVING WHALES BY LAND PUBLIC EX 
CITEMENT THE GREAT TANK SALT WATER PUMPED FROM THE BAY TO 
THE MUSEUM MORE WHALES EXPEDITION TO LABRADOR THE FIRST 
HIPPOPOTAMUS EN AMERICA TROPICAL *FISH COMMODORE NUTT AND HIS 
FIRST "ENGAGEMENT" THE TWO DROMIOS PRESIDENT LINCOLN SEES 
COMMODORE NUTT WADING ASHORE A QUESTION OF LEGS SELF-DECEP 
TION THE GOLDEN ANGEL FISH ANNA SWAN, THE NOVA SCOTIA GIANT 
ESS THE TALLEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD INDIAN CHIEFS EXPEDITION 
TO CYPRUS MY AGENT IN A PASHA S HAREM. 

ON the 13th of October, 1860, the American Museum 
was the scene of another re-opening, which was, in fact, 
the commencement of the fall dramatic season, the 
summer months having been devoted to pantomime. A 
grand nourish of trumpets in the way of newspaper 
advertisements and flaming posters drew a crowded 
house. Among other attractions, it was announced 
that Mr. Barnum would introduce a mysterious novelty 
never before seen in that establishment. I appeared 
upon the stage behind a small table, in front of which 
was nailed a white sack, on which was inscribed, in 
large letters, " The cat let out of the bag." I then 
stated that, having spent two of the summer months in 
the country, leaving the Museum in charge of Mr. 
Greenwood, he had purchased a curiosity with which 
he was not satisfied ; but, for my part, I thought he 
had received his money s worth, and I proposed to ex- 



MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 561 

hibit it to the audience, for the purpose of getting their 
opinion on the subject. I stated that a farmer came in 
from the country, and said he had got a " cherry-colored 
cat " at home which he would like to sell ; that Mr. 
Greenwood gave him a writing promising to pay him 
twenty-five dollars for such a cat delivered in good 
health, provided it was not artificially colored ; and that 
the cat was then in the bag in front of the table, ready 
for exhibition. Whereupon, my assistant drew from 
the bag a common black cat, and I informed the audi 
ence that when the farmer brought his " cherry-colored 
cat," he quietly remarked to Mr. Greenwood, that, of 
course, he meant " a cat of the color of black cherries." 
The laughter that followed this narration was uproar 
ious, and the audience unanimously voted that the 
" cherry-colored cat," all things considered, was well 
worth twenty-five dollars. The cat, adorned with a 
collar bearing the inscription, "The Cherry-colored 
Cat," was then placed in the cage of the " Happy 
Family," and the story getting into the newspapers, it 
became another advertisement of the Museum. 

In 1861, I learned that some fishermen at the mouth 
of the St. Lawrence had succeeded in capturing a living 
white whale, and I was also informed that a whale of 
this kind, if placed in a box lined with sea-weed and 
partially filled with salt water, could be transported by 
land to a considerable distance, and be kept alive. It 
was simply necessary that an attendant, supplied with a 
barrel of salt water and a sponge, should keep the 
mouth and blow-hole of the whale constantly moist. It 
seemed incredible that a living whale could be " ex 
pressed" by railroad on a five days journey, and al 
though I knew nothing of the white whale or its habits, 



562 MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

since I had never seen one, I determined to experiment 
in that direction. Landsman as I was, I believed that I 
was quite as competent as a St. Lawrence fisherman to 
superintend the capture and transportation of a live 
white whale. 

When I had fully made up my mind to attempt th? 
task, I made every provision for the expedition, and 
took precaution against every conceivable contingency, 
I determined upon the capture and transport to my Mu 
seum of at least two living whales, and prepared in the 
basement of the building a brick and cement tank, forty 
feet long, and eighteen feet wide, for the reception of 
the marine monsters. When this was done, -taking 
two trusty assistants, I started upon my whaling expe 
dition. Going by rail to Quebec, and thence by the 
Grand Trunk Railroad, ninety miles, to Wells River, 
where I chartered a sloop to Elbow Island (Isle au 
Coudres), in the St. Lawrence River, and found the 
place populated by Canadian French people of the most 
ignorant and dirty description. They were hospitable, 
but frightfully filthy, and they gained their livelihood 
by farming and fishing. Immense quantities of maple- 
sugar are made there, and in exploring about the island, 
we saw hundreds of birch-bark buckets suspended to the 
trees to catch the sap. After numerous consultations, 
extending over three whole days, with a party of twenty- 
four fishermen, whose gibberish was almost as untrans 
latable as it was unbearable, I succeeded in contracting 
for their services to capture for me, alive and unharmed, 
a couple of white whales, scores of which could at all 
times be discovered by their " spouting " within sight 
of the island. I was to pay these men a stipulated 
price per day for their labor, and if they secured the 
whales, they were to have a liberal bonus. 



MOKE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 563 

The plan decided upon was to plant in the river a 
* kraal," composed of stakes driven down in the form 
of a V, leaving the broad end open for the whales to 
enter. This was done in a shallow place, with the 
point of the kraal towards shore ; and if hy chance one 
or more whales should enter the trap at high water, my 
fishermen were to occupy tlj,e entrance with their boats, 
and keep up a tremendous splashing and noise till the 
tide receded, when the frightened whales would iiud 
themselves nearly " high and dry," or with too little 
water to enable them to swim, and their capture would 
be the next thing in order. This was to be effected by 
securing a slip-noose of stout rope over their tails, and 
towing them to the sea-weed lined boxes in which they 
were to be transported to New York. 

All this was simple enough " on paper" ; but several 
days elapsed before a single spout was seen inside the 
kraal, though scores of whales were constantly around 
and near it. In time, it became exceedingly aggravating 
to see the whales glide so near the trap without going 
into it, and our patience was sorely tried. One day a 
whale actually went into the kraal, and the fishermen 
proposed to capture it; bat I wanted another, a\)4fvrinle 
we waited for number two to go in, number one,,kii$W 
ing the proverb, probably, and having an eye to his own 
interests, went out. Two days afterwards, I was awak 
ened at daylight by a great noise, and :amid the clamor, 
of many voices, I caught thq cheering news: that two 
whales were even then within.. the .kraal,, /and- hastily 
dressing myself, I took a, boat : for., the, ; .exciting scene. 
The real difficulty, which , was to get the whaJeSrinfcQ the 
trap, was now oye,i , r an^ the 4^ tails of capture 
portation could safely bet left to my teusty . 



564 MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

the fishermen. What they were to do until the tide went 
out and thereafter was once more fully explained ; and 
after depositing money enough to pay the bill, if the 
capture was successful, I started at once for Quebec. 
There I learned by telegraph that both whales had been 
caught, boxed, and put on board sloop for the nearest 
point where they could be transhipped in the cars. I 
had made every arrangement with the railway officials, 
and had engaged a special car for the precious and 
curious freight. 

Elated as I was at the result of this novel enterprise, 
I had no idea of hiding my light tinder a bushel, and I 
immediately wrote a full account of the expedition, its 
intention, and its success, for publication in the Quebec 
and Montreal newspapers. I also prepared a largo 
number of brief notices which I left at every station on 
the line, instructing telegraph operators to " take off " 
all " whaling messages " that passed over the wires to 
New York, and to inform their fellow townsmen at 
what hour the whales would pass through each place. 
The result of these arrangements may be imagined ; at 
every station crowds of people came to the cars to see 
the whales which were travelling by land to Barnum s 
Museum, and those who did not see the monsters with 
their own eyes, at least saw some one who had seen 
them, and I thus secured a tremendous advertisement, 
seven hundred miles long, for the American Museum. 

When I arrived in New York, a dozen despatches 
had come from the " whaling expedition." and they 
continued to cornc every few hours. These I bulletined 
in front of the Museum and sent copies to the papers. 
The excitement was intense, and, when at last, these 
marine monsters arrived and were swimming in the tank 



MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 565 

that had been prepared for them, anxious thousands 
literally rushed to see the strangest curiosities ever 
exhibited in New York. 

Thus was my first whaling expedition a great 
success ; but I did not know how to feed or to take care 
of the monsters, and, moreover, they were in fresh 
water, and this, with the bad air in the basement, may 
have hastened their death, which occurred a few days 
after their arrival, but not before thousands of people 
had seen them. Not at all discouraged, I resolved to 
try again. My plan now was to connect the water of 
New York bay with the basement of the Museum by 
means of iron pipes under the street, and a steam engine 
on the dock to pump the water. This I actually did at a 
cost of several thousand dollars, with an extra thousand 
to the aldermanic "ring" for the privilege, and I con 
structed another tank in the second floor of the building. 
This tank was built of slate and French glass plates 
six feet long, five feet broad, and one inch thick, 
imported expressly for the purpose, and the tank, when 
completed, was twenty-four feet square, and cost $4,000. 
It was kept constantly supplied with what would be 
called Hibernically, " fresh " salt water, and inside of 
it I soon had two wiiite whales, caught, as the first had 
been, hundreds of miles below Quebec, to which city 
they were carried by a sailing vessel, and from thence 
were brought by railway to New York. 

Of this whole enterprise, I confess I was very proud 
that I had originated it and brought it to such success 
ful conclusion. It was a very great sensation, and it 
added thousands of dollars to my treasury. The whales, 
however, soon died their sudden and immense popu 
larity was too much for them andj then despatched 



566 MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

agents to the coast of Labrador, and not many weeks 
thereafter I had two more live whales disporting them 
selves in my monster aquarium. Certain envious people 
started the report that my whales were only por 
poises, but this petty malice was turned to good account, 
for Professor Agassiz, of Harvard University, came to 
see them, and gave me a certificate that they were 
genuine white whales, and this indorsement I published 
far and wide. 

The tank which I had built in the basement served 
for a yet more interesting exhibition. On the l 2th of 
August, 1861, I began to exhibit the first and only gen 
uine hippopotamus that had ever been seen in America, 
and for several weeks the Museum was thronged by the 
curious who came to see the monster. I advertised 
him extensively and ingeniously, as " the great behe 
moth of the Scriptures," giving a full description of 
the animal and his habits, and thousands of cultivated 
people, biblical students, and others, were attracted to 
this novel exhibition. There was quite as much ex 
citement in the city over this wonder in the animal 
creation as there was in London when the first hippo 
potamus was placed in the zoological collection in lie- 
gent s Park. 

Having a stream of salt water at my command at 
every high tide, I was enabled to make splendid addi- 
1 tions to the beautiful aquarium, which I was the first 
to introduce into this country. I not only procured 
living sharks, porpoises, sea horses, and many rare 
fish from the sea in the vicinity of New York, but in 
the summer of 1861, I despatched a fishing smack and 
crew to the Island of Bermuda and its neighborhood, 
whence they brought scores of specimens of the beau- 



MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 567 

tiful " angel fish," and numerous other tropical fish of 
brilliant colors and unique forms. These fish were a 
great attraction to all classes, and especially to natural 
ists and others, who commended me for serving the 
ends of science as well as amusement. But as cold 
weather approached, these tropical fish began to die, 
and before the following spring, they were all gone. 
I, therefore, replenished this portion of my aquaria 
during the summer, and for several summers in suc 
cession, by sending a special vessel to the Gulf for 
specimens. These operations were very expensive, 
but I really did not care for the cost, if I could only 
secure valuable attractions. 

In the same year, I bought out the Aquarial Gardens 
in Boston, and soon after removed the collection to the 
Museum. I had now the finest assemblage of fresh as 
well as salt water fish ever exhibited, and with a stand 
ing offer of one hundred dollars for every living brook- 
trout, weighing four pounds or more, which might be 
brought to me, I soon had three or four of these 
beauties, which trout-fishermen from all parts of the 
country came to New York to see. But the trout de 
partment of my Museum required so much care, and 
was attended with such constant risks, that I finally 
gave it up. 

In December, 1861, 1 made one of my most " palpable 
hits." I was visited at the Museum by a most remark 
able dwarf, who was a sharp, intelligent little fellow, 
with a deal of drollery and wit. He had a splendid 
head, was perfectly formed, was very attractive, and, in 
short, for a " showman," he was a perfect treasure. His 
name, he told me, was George Washington Morrison 
Nutt, and his father was Major Eodnia Nutt, a sub- 



568 MOfiE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

etaxitial farmer, of Manchester, New Hampshire. I was 
not long in despatching an efficient agent to Manchester, 
and in overcoming the competition with other showmen 
who were equally eager to. secure this extraordinary 
pigmy. The terms upon which I engaged him for three 
years .were so. large that he was christened the $30,000 
Nutt ; I, in..the mean time, conferring upon him the title 
of Commodore. As soon as I engaged him, placards, 
poster* and "the columns of the newspapers pro 
claimed ; the presence of "Commodore Nutt," at the 
Museum. I also procured for .the Commodore a pair 
of Shetland ponies, miniature coachman and footman, in 
livery, gold-mounted harness and an elegant little 
carriage, whiehi when, closed, represented a gigantic 
English walnut. The little Commodore attracted great 
attention and grew rapidly in public favor. General 
Tom Thumb was then travelling in the South and West 
For some years he had. not been exhibited in New York, 
and during these years he had increased considerably in 
rotundity and had changed much in his general appear 
ance. It was ,a singular .fact.,, however, that Commodore 
Nutt was almost a fac-simile of General Tom Thumb, as 
he looked half-a-dozen years before. Consequently, 
very many of my patrons, not making allowance for the 
time which had elapsed since they had last seen the 
General, declared that I was trying to play "Mrs. 
Gamp" with my "Mrs. Harris"; that there was, in 
fact, no such person as " Commodore Nutt" ; and that I 
was exhibiting my old friend Tom Thumb under a new 
name. The mistake was very natural, and to me it 
was very laughable, for the more I tried to convince 
people of their error, the more they winked and looked 
wise,, and said, " It s pretty well done, but you can t 
take me in.* 



MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 569 

Commodore Nutt enjoyed the joke very much. He 
would sometimes half admit the deception, simply to 
add to the bewilderment of the doubting portion of 
my visitors. After he had been in the Museum a few 
weeks, I took the Commodore to Bridgeport to spend 
a couple of days by way of relaxation. Many of the 
citizens of Bridgeport, who had known Tom Thumb 
from his birth, would salute the Commodore as the 
General Tom Thumb. The little fellow would return 
these salutes, for he delighted in keeping up the illusion. 

Going into a crowded barber-shop one morning with 
the little Commodore, we met my friend Mr. Gideon 
Thompson, who was sitting there, and who called 
out: 

" Good morning, Charley; "u.ow are you] When did 
you get home ] " 

" I m quite well, thank you, and I arrived last night," 
responded the Commodore, with due gravity. 

" I ve got a horse now that will beat yours," said Mr. 
Thompson. 

" He must be pretty fast, then." 

" Well, Charley, I ll drive out by your mother s the 
first fine day, and give you a trial." 

" All right," said little Nutt, " but you had better not 
wager too much on your fast horse, for you know mine 
is some pumpkins." 

"Well, Uncle Gid.," I exclaimed, " you are had 
this time ; this little gentleman is not General Tom 
Thumb, but Commodore Nutt." 

" What ! " roared friend Gid. ; " do you think I am an 
infernal fool? Why, I knew Charley Stratton years 
before you ever saw him, did n t I, General ? " 

No one in the room suspected that my little friend 

26* 



570 MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

was any other than General Tom Thumb, till Mr. 
William Bassett, the General s brother-in-law, came in 
and remarked the " wonderful resemblance to our little 
Charley, as he looked years ago." 

"Is not this the General?" inquired half a dozen 
astonished men, who were speedily assured he was not, 
but was quite another person. This gave rise to a 
proposition to exhibit the Commodore to the General s 
mother, and a coach was procured, and Mr. Bassett, the 
Commodore, and I went to Mrs. Strattoifs house. 
When we arrived, the Commodore shouted out: 

" How are you, mother] " 









the mother, of all persons in Bridgeport, was 
not to be deceived, though she expressed her astonish 
ment at the very striking likeness the Commodore bore 
to her son as he once looked. Mrs. Bassett concurred 
in the testimony and said the Commodore looked so 
much like her brother that she was loth to let him go. 
It is no wonder that other people were deceived by the 
resemblance. 

It was evident that here was an opportunity to turn 
dLL do"obts> into hard cash by simply bringing the two 
dwarf Dromios together, and showing them on the 
teame;-piyform. I therefore induced Tom Thumb to 
bring -Ms- Western engagements to a close, and to appear 
for four weeks, beginning with August 11, Ib62, in 
my Mt&gflrav Announcements headed "The Two 
fiD?ri3nA0K/^ -Qhd^ u Two Smallest Men, and Greatest 
Curiosities Living," as I expected, drew large crowds 
My and many came especially to solve their 
Regard to the genuineness of the " Nutt." 
But here I was considerably nonplussed, for astonishing 
as it may seem, tfke doubts of many of the visitors were 



MOKE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 571 

confirmed! The sharp people who were determined 
" not to be humbugged, anyhow," still declared that 
Commodore Nutt was General Tom Thumb, and that 
the little fellow whom I was trying to pass off as 
Tom Thumb, was no move like the General than he was 
like the man in the Moon. It is very amusing to see 
how people will sometimes deceive themselves by being 
too incredulous. 

As an illustration the " Australian Golden Pigeons " 
which deceived Old Adams were the occasion of another 
ludicrous incident. A shrewd lady, one of my neigh 
bors in Connecticut, was visiting the Must/urn, and after 
inspecting the " Golden Angel Fish" swimming in one 
of the aquaria, she abruptly addressed me : 

" You can t humbug me, Mr. Barnum ; that fish is 
painted ! " 

" Nonsense ! " said I, with a laugh ; u the thing is 
impossible." 

" I don t care, I know it is painted ; it is as plain as 
can be." 

" But, my dear Mrs. II., paint would not adhere to a 
fish in the water ; and if it would, it would kill him." 

She left the Museum not more than half convinced, 
and in the afternoon of the same day I met her in the 
California Menagerie. She knew I was part proprietor 
in the establishment, and seeing me in conversation 
with Old Adams, she came to me, her eyes glistening 
with excitement, and exclaimed 

" Oh, Mr. Barnum, I never saw anything so beautiful 
as those elegant " Golden Pigeons " ; you must give me 
some of their eggs for my own pigeons to hatch ; I 
should prize them beyond measure." 

"Oh, you don t want c Golden Pigeons/ I said; 
" they are painted." 



572 MOKE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. j 

" No, they are not painted," said she, with a laugh, 
" but I half think the Angel Fish is." 

I could scarcely control my laughter as I explained : 
" Now, Mrs. H., I never spoil a good joke, even when 
the exposure betrays a Museum secret. I assure you, 
upon honor, that the " Australian Golden Pigeons," as 
they are labelled, are really painted ; I bought them for 
the sole purpose of giving Old Adams a lesson ; in their 
natural state they are nothing more than common white 
ruff-neck pigeons." She was convinced, and to this 
day she blushes whenever any allusion is made to the 
" Angel Fish " or the " Golden Pigeons." 

In 1862, I sent the Commodore to Washington, and 
joining him there, I received an invitation from Presi 
dent Lincoln to call at the White House with my little 
friend. Arriving at the appointed hour I was informed 
that the President was in a special cabinet meeting, but 
that he had left word if I called to be shown in to him 
with the Commodore. These were dark days in the 
rebellion and I felt that my visit, if not ill-timed, must 
at all events be brief. When we were admitted Mr. 
Lincoln received us cordially, and introduced us to the 
members of the cabinet. When Mr. Chase was intro 
duced as the Secretary of the Treasury, the little 
Commodore remarked : 

" I suppose you are the gentleman who is spending 
so much of Uncle Sam s money 1 " 

" No, indeed," said Secretary of War Stanton. very 
promptly : " I am spending the money." 

" Well," said Commodore Nutt, " it is in a good cause, 
anyhow, and I guess it will come out all right." 

His apt remark created much amusement. Mr. 
Lincoln then bent down his long, lank body, and taking 
Nutt by fee hand, }IQ gaid; 



MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 573 

" Commodore, permit me to give you a parting word 
of advice. When you are in command of your fleet, if 
you find yourself in danger of being taken prisoner, I 
advise you to wade ashore." 

The Commodore found the laugh was against him, 
but placing himself at the side of the President, and 
gradually raising his eyes up the whole length of Mr. 
Lincoln s very long legs, he replied : 

. " I guess Mr. President, you could do that better than 
I could." 

Commodore Nutt and the Nova Scotia giantess, Anna 
Swan, illustrate the old proverb sufficiently to show how 
extremes occasionally met in my Museum. He was the 
shortest of men and she was the tallest of women. I 
first heard of her through a quaker who came into my 
office one day and told me of a wonderful girl, seventeen 
years of age, who resided near him at Pictou, Nova 
Scotia, and who was probably the tallest girl in the 
world. I asked him to obtain her exact height, on his 
return home, which he did and sent it to me, and I at 
once sent an agent who in due time came back with 
Anna Swan. She was an intelligent and by no means 
ill-looking girl, and during the long period while she 
was in my employ she was visited by thousands of 
persons. After the burning of my second Museum, she 
went to England where she attracted great attention. 

For many years I had been in the habit of engaging 
parties of American Indians from the far West to 
exhibit at the Museum, and had sent two or more 
Indian companies to Europe, where they were 
regarded as very great " curiosities." In 1864, ten or 
twelve chiefs of as many different tribes, visited the 
President of the United States at Washington. By a 



574 MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

pretty liberal outlay of money, I succeeded in inducing 
the interpreter to bring them to New York, and to pass 
some days at my Museum. Of course, getting these 
Indians to dance, or to give any illustration of their 
games or pastimes, was out of the question. They 
were real chiefs of powerful tribes, and would no more 
have consented to give an exhibition of themselves than 
the Chief Magistrate of our own nation would have 
done. Their interpreter could not therefore promise 
that they would remain at the Museum for any definite 
time ; " for," said he, " you can only keep them just 
so long as they suppose all your patrons come to pay 
them visits of honor. If they suspected that your 
Museum was a place where people paid for entering," 
he continued, " you could not keep them a moment after 
the discovery." 

On their arrival at the Museum, therefore, I took 
them upon the stage and personally introduced them to 
the public. The Indians liked this attention from me, 
as they had been informed that I was the proprietor of 
the great establishment in which they were invited and 
honored guests. My patrons were of course pleased to 
see these old chiefs, as they knew they were the " real 
thing," and several of them were known to the public, 
either as being friendly or cruel to the whites. After 
one or two appearances upon the stage, I took them in 
carriages and visited the Mayor of New York in the 
Governor s room at the City Hall. Here the Mayor 
made them a speech of welcome, which being 
interpreted to the savages was responded to by a 
speech from one of the chiefs, in which he thanked the 
great " Father " of the city for his pleasant words, and 
for his kindness in pointing out the portraits of his 



MOKE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 575 

predecessors hanging on the walls of the Governor s 
room. 

On another occasion, I took them by special invita 
tion to visit one of the large public schools up town. 
The teachers were pleased to see them, and arranged 
an exhibition of special exercises by the scholars, which 
they thought would be most likely to gratify their 
barbaric visitors. At the close of these exercises, one 
old chief arose* and simply said, " This is all new to us. 
We are mere unlearned sons of the forest, and cannot 
understand what we have seen and heard." 

On other occasions, I took them to ride in Central 
Park, and through different portions of the city. At 
every street corner which we passed, they would 
express their astonishment to each other, at seeing the 
long rows of houses which extended both ways 011 
either side of each cross-street. Of course, between 
each of these outside visits I would return with them to 
the Museum, and secure two or three appearances upon 
the stage to receive the people who had there congre 
gated " to do them honor." 

As they regarded me as their host, they did not 
hesitate to trespass upon my hospitality. Whenever 
their eyes rested upon a glittering shell among my 
specimens of conchology, especially if it had several 
brilliant colors, one would take off his coat, another his 
shirt, and insist that I should exchange my shell for 
their garment. When I declined the exchange, but on 
the contrary presented them .with the coveted article, 
I soon found I had established a dangerous precedent. 
Immediately, they all commenced to beg for everything 
in my vast collection, which they happened to take a 
liking to. This cost me many valuable specimens, and 



576 MOBE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

often " put me to my trumps " for an excuse to avoid 
giving them things which I could not part with. 

The chief of one of the tribes one day discovered an 
ancient shirt of chain-mail which hung in one of my 
cases of antique armor. He was delighted with it, and 
declared he must have it. I tried all sorts of excuses 
to prevent his getting it, for it had cost me a hundred 
dollars and was a great curiosity. But the old man s 
eyes glistened, and he would not take " no " for an 
answer. "The Utes have killed my little child," he 
told me through the interpreter; and now he must 
have this steel shirt to protect himself; and when he 
returned to the Rocky Mountains he would have his 
revenge. I remained inexorable until he finally brought 
me a new buckskin Indian suit, which he insisted upon 
exchanging. I felt compelled to accept his proposal ; 
and never did I see a man more delighted than he 
seemed to be when he took the mailed shirt into his 
hands. He fairly jumped up and down with joy. He 
ran to his lodging room, and soon appeared again with 
the coveted armor upon his body, and marched down 
one of the main halls of the Museum, with folded arms, 
and head erect, occasionally patting his breast with his 
right hand, as much as to say, " now, Mr. Ute, look 
sharp, for I will soon be on the war path ! " 

Among these Indians were War Bonnet, Lean Bear, 
and Hand-in-the-water, chiefs of the Cheyennes; 
Yellow Buffalo, of the Kiowas ; Yellow Bear, of the 
same tribe ; Jacob, of the Caddos ; and White Bull, of 
the Apaches. The little wiry chief known as Yellow 
Bear had killed many whites as they had travelled 
through the " far West." He was a sly, treacherous, 
blood-thirsty savage, who would think no more of 



MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

- 

scalping a family of women and children, than a butcher 
would of wringing the neck of a chicken. But now 
he was on a mission to the " Great Father " at Wash 
ington, seeking for presents and favors for his trib^ ; 
and he pretended to be exceedingly meek and humble, 
and continually urged the interpreter to announce him 
as a " great friend to the white man." He would fawn 
about me, and although not speaking or understanding 
a word of our language, would try to convince me 
that he loved me dearly. 

In exhibiting these Indian warriors on the stage, I 
explained to the large audiences the names and charac 
teristics of each. When I came to Yellow Bear I 
would pat him familiarly upon the shoulder, which 
always caused him to look up to me with a pleasant 
smile, while he softly stroked down my arm with his 
right hand in the most loving manner. Knowing that 
he could not understand a word I said, I pretended 
to be complimenting him to the audience, while I was 
really saying something like the following : 

" This little Indian, ladies and gentlemen, is Yellow 
Bear, chief of the Kiowas. He has killed, no doubt, 
scores of white persons, and he is probably the meanest, 
black-hearted rascal that lives in the far West." Here 
I patted him on the head, and he, supposing I was 
sounding his praises, would smile, fawn upon me, and 
stroke my arm, while I continued : "If the blood-thirsty 
little villain understood what I was saying, he would 
kill me in a moment ; but as he thinks I am compli 
menting him, I can safely state the truth to you, that he 
is a lying, thieving, treacherous, murderous monster. 
He has tortured to death poor, unprotected women, 
murdered their husbands, brained their helpless little 



578 MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

ones ; and he would gladly do the same to you or to 
me, if he thought he could escape punishment. This is 
but a faint description of the character of Yellow Bear." 
Here I gave him another patronizing pat on the head, 
and he, with a pleasant smile, bowed to the audience, as 
much as to say that my words were quite true, and that 
he thanked me very much for the high encomiums I had 
so generously heaped upon him. 

After they had been about a week at the Museum, 
one of the chiefs discovered that visitors paid money for 
entering. This information he soon communicated to 
the other chiefs, and I heard an immediate murmur of 
discontent. Their eyes were opened, and no power 
could induce them to appear again upon the stage. 
Their dignity had been offended, and their wild, flashing 
eyes were anything but agreeable. Indeed, I hardly felt 
safe in their presence, and it was with a feeling of relief 
that I witnessed their departure for Washington the next 
morning. 

In the spring of 1864, the United States Consul at 
Larnica, Island of Cyprus, Turkish Dominions, wrote 
me a letter, declaring that he and the English Consul, 
an American physician, resident in the island, and a 
large company of Europeans as well as natives, had 
seen the most remarkable object, no doubt, in the 
world, a lusus naturce, a feminine phenomenon. This 
woman was represented to have " four cornicles on her 
head, and one large horn, equal in size to an ordinary 
rani s horn, growing out of the side of her head " ; and 
the consistency of the horns was represented to be 
similar to that of cows or goats horns. This singular 
story continued : " These horns have been growing for 
ten or twelve years, and were carefully concealed by the 



MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 579 

woman until a few weeks since, when a vision appeared 
in the person of an old man, and warned her to remove 
the veil she wore, or God would punish her. She sent 
to the Greek priest (she being of that persuasion), and 
confessed to him, and was ordered to uncover her head, 
which she at once did." She was subsequently seen by 
the entire population, and the French consul, in com 
pany with others, offered her fifty thousand piastres to 
go to Paris for exhibition. The English consul, I was 
further informed, had pronounced this woman to be 
" worth her weight in gold " ; and I was assured that if 
I wished to add her to my " wonderful Museum, and 
present to the American public the -most remarkable 
object yet exhibited," I had only to " send an agent im 
mediately to secure the prize." 

Informing myself of the trustworthiness of my cor 
respondent (who also wrote a similar account to the 
New York Observer), I was not long in making up my 
mind to secure this freak of nature ; and I despatched 
Mr. John Greenwood, Jr., in the steamer a City of Bal 
timore," for Liverpool, April 80, 1864. He went to 
London and Paris, and thence to Marseilles, where he 
took a Syrian and Egyptian steamer to Palermo, and 
from thence proceeded to Cyprus. On arriving, if he 
could have seen the woman at once, he could have re- 
embarked on the steamer, which sailed again in a few 
hours for other islands ; but unfortunately, the woman 
was a few miles in the interior, and poor Greenwood 
was detained a month on the island before he could 
take another steamer to get away. Worse yet, the 
woman, spite of the impression she had made upon so 
many and such respectable witnesses, was really no curi 
osity after all, as it proved upon examination, that 



580 MOKE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 

her " horns " were not horns at all, but fleshy excres 
cences, which may have been singularly shaped tumors, 
or wens. It is needless to add that my agent did not 
engage her ; and after a month of discomfort and hard 
living, he succeeded in getting away, and sailed for 
Constantinople, mainly to see what could be done in the 
way of securing one or more Circassian women for ex 
hibition in my Museum. 

On his way through the Mediterranean, he had the 
following adventure : On board the steamer, the harem 
of a Turkish Pasha occupied one side of the quarter 
deck, which was divided off from the rest by a hurdle 
fence run longitudinally through the middle of the deck. 
Greenwood was one day sitting in an easy chair with 
his back to these women and their attendants, when, 
feeling his chair move, he turned and saw one of the 
Pasha s wives getting over the hurdle, and as there was 
scarcely room for her to squeeze herself between the 
chairs in which passengers were sitting, he moved his 
own chair but of the way and rising, offered his hand 
to assist the woman over the fence. She indignantly 
jumped back, and Greenwood was immediately seized 
by two of the Pasha s attendants, violently shaken, and 
taken to task in Turkish for daring to offer to touch the 
hand of one of his Excellency s women. Greenwood had 
that day formed the acquaintance of a fellow-passenger, 
a young Greek from Scio, who was going to Beyrout to 
act as clerk for a merchant in that place. He spoke 
good English, and seeing Greenwood in trouble among 
the Turks, and knowing that he could speak neither 
Greek nor Arabic, he went to the rescue, and demanded 
an explanation of the difficulty. 

Upon hearing what was the trouble, he informed the 



MORE ABOUT THE MUSEUM. 581 

turbulent fellows that Greenwood had no motive in his 
act beyond simple common courtesy. The prisoner, 
however, was still detained in the grasp of the Turks, till 
the will of the insulted Pasha could be known. On 
deck soon came the irate Pasha, in company with an old 
gentleman who was said to have been tutor, formerly,; 
to the present Sultan of Turkey. When the two heard 
the charge and the explanation, and had consulted to 
gether a little while, Greenwood was released. But 
for the friendly interposition of the Greek, he might 
have been bastinadoed, or even bowstrung. 

During the remainder of the voyage he was closely 
watched, but he was very careful to be guilty of no 
act of " politeness," and he went on shore at Constan 
tinople without so much as saying good-by to the Pasha. 
In Constantinople he had some very singular adven 
tures. To carry out his purpose of getting access to 
the very interior of the slave-marts, he dressed himself 
in full Turkish costume, learned a few words and 
phrases which would be necessary in his assumed char 
acter as a slave-buyer, and, as the Turks are a notably 
reticent people, he succeeded very well in passing him 
self off for what he appeared, though he ran a risk of 
detection many times every day. In this manner, he 
saw a large number of Circassian girls and women, 
some of them the most beautiful beings he had ever 
seen, and after a month in Constantinople and in other 
Turkish cities, he sailed for Marseilles, then went to 
Paris, picking up many treasures for my Museum, arid 
returned to New York, after a journey of 13,112 miles. 



boowc 



flO .nv/Qfn[ od jjIfKo .sifcw;*! LoiJii^-ii 
CHAPTER XXAvn 

. 
. MR. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 



LAVTNIA WARREN A CHARMING LITTLE LADY SUPPOSED TO F.E THE 
$30,000 NUTT IN DISGUISE HER WARDRoiiE AXD PHKSKNTtJ STORY OF A 
K1XG THE LITTLE COMMODOUE IX LOVE TOM THUMB SMITTEN RIVALRY 
OF THE DWARFS .IEAIX)USY OF THE GENERAL VISIT AT BRIDGEPORT 
THK GENERAL S STYLISH TTRN-OUT MI*S WARREN IMPRESSED CALL OF 

THE GENERAL A ULIPLf flAN LOVE SCENE ToAI TH UJMi? 9 INVENTORY OF 
HIS PROPERTY HE PROPOSES AND IS ACCEPTED ARRFVAL OF ( THE. COM 
MODORE HIS (iRIEF EXCI1EMEMT OVKR THE ENGAGEMENT -r- THE WED^ 
DING IN GRACE CHURCH REVEREND .TUNIUS \TILLEY A SPICY LETTER BY 
DOCTOR TAYLOR GRAND RECEPTION OF MR. AXD MRS. STKATTON THE 
COMMODORE IN SEARCH OF A GREEN COUNTRY GIRL. 

/ If r jn fli -! V*tC> / yf:l r< H JJOli Oil Oil"[O/IlJiIt*t^UO ^ 

IN 1862 I heard of an extraordinary dwarf girl, 
named Lavinia Warren, who was residing with her 
parents at Middleboro , Massachusetts, and I sent an 
invitation to her and her parents to come and visit me 
at Bridgeport. They came, and I found her to he a 
most intelligent and refined young lady, well educated, 
arid an accomplished, beautiful and perfectly-developed 
woman in miniature. I succeeded in making an engage 
ment with her for several years, during wliic-h she con 
tracted as dwarfs are said to have the power to do 
to visit Great Britain, France, and other foreign lands. 

Having arranged the terms of her engagement, I took 
her to the house of one of my daughters in New Y\ork, 
where she remained quietly, while 1 was procuring her 
wardrobe and jewelry, and making arrangements for her 
debut. As yet, nothing had been said in the papers 
about this interesting young lady, and one day as I was 



MR. AND MBS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 583 

taking her home with me to Bridgeport, I met in the 
cars the wife of a wealthy menagerie proprietor, who 
introduced me to her two daughters, young ladies of 
sixteen and eighteen years of age, and then said : 

" You have disguised the little Commodore very 
nicely." 

" That is not Commodore Nutt," I replied, " it is i 
young lady whom I have recently discovered." 

" Very well done, Mr. Barnum," replied Mrs. B , with 
a look of self satisfaction. 

" Really," I repeated, " this is a young lady." 

" Thank you, Mr. Barnum, but I know Commodore 
Nutt in whatever costume you put him ; and 1 re 
cognized him the moment you brought him into the 
car." 

" But, Mrs. B.," I replied, " Commodore Nutt is now 
exhibiting in the Museum, and this is a little lady whom 
I hope to bring before the public soon." 

" Mr. Barnum," she replied, " you forget that I am a 
showman s wife, conversant with all the showman s 
tricks, and that I cannot be deceived." 

Seeing there was no prospect of convincing her, I 
replied in a confidential whisper, for such chance for a 
joke was not to be lost : 

" Well, I see you are too sharp for me, but I beg you 
not to mention it, for you are the only person on board 
this train who suspects it is the Commodore." 

" I will say nothing," she replied, " but do please 
bring the little fellow over here, for my daughters have 
never seen him." 

I stepped and told Lavinia the joke and asked her 
to help carry it out. I then took her over where she 
got a seat in the midst of the three ladies. 
27" 



584 MB. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

"Ah, Commodore," whispered Mrs. B., " you hava 
done it pretty well, but bless you, I knew those eyes 
and that nose the moment I saw you." 

" Your eyes must be pretty sharp, then," replied 
Lavinia. 

" Oh, you see people in our line understand these 
things, and are never deceived by appearances ; but 
let me introduce you to these two young ladies, my 
daughters." 

" We are happy to see you, sir," said one of the 
young ladies. They then enjoyed a very animated con 
versation, in the course of which they asked the " Com 
modore " all about his family, and Lavinia managed to 
answer the questions in such a way as to avoid sus 
picion. The ladies then informed the " Commodore " 
that there was a sweet little lady living in their town 
only sixteen years old, and if he would visit them, they 
would introduce him ; that her family was highly re 
spectable, and she would make him a capital wife ! 
Lavinia thanked them and promised to visit them if 
it should be convenient. As the ladies left the car, 
they shook hands with Lavinia, kissed her, and in a 
whisper said " good morning, sir." Meeting the hus 
band of the lady, some weeks afterwards, I told him 
the joke, and he enjoyed it so highly that he will prob 
ably never let his wife and daughters hear the last of it, 

I purchased a very splendid wardrobe for Miss War 
ren, including scores of the richest dresses that could 
be procured, costly jewels, and in fact everything that 
could add to the charms of her naturally charming little 
person. She was then placed on exhibition at the 
Museum and from the day of her debut she was ai? 
extraordinary success. Commodore Nutt was on exhi_ 



MB. AND MBS. GENEBAL TOM THUMB. 585 

bition with her, and although he was several years her 
junior he evidently took a great fancy to her. One day 
I presented to Lavinia a diamond and emerald ring, and 
as it did not exactly fit her finger, I told her I would 
give her another one and that she might present this 
one to the Commodore in her own name. She did so, 
and an unlooked-for effect was speedily apparent ; the 
little Commodore felt sure that this was a love-token, 
and poor Lavinia was in the greatest trouble, for she 
considered herself quite a woman, and regarded the 
Commodore only as a nice little boy. But she did not 
like to offend him, and while she did not encourage, she 
did not openly repel his attentions. Miss Lavinia War 
ren, however, was never destined to be Mrs. Commodore 
Nutt, 

It was by no means an unnatural circumstance that I 
should be suspected of having instigated and brought 
about the marriage of Tom Thumb with Lavinia War 
ren. Had I done this, I should at this day have felt no 
regrets, for it has proved, in an eminent degree, one of 
the " happy marriages." I only say, what is known to 
all of their immediate friends, that from first to last 
their engagement was an affair of the heart a case of 
" love at first sight " that the attachment was mutual, 
and that it only grows with the lapse of time. But I 
had neither part nor lot in instigating or in occasioning 
the marriage. And as I am anxious to be put right 
before the public, and so to correct whatever of false 
impression may have gained ground, I have procured 
the consent of all the parties to a sketch of the wooing, 
winning and nuptials. Of course I should not lay these 
details before the public, except with the sanction of 
those most interested. In this they consent to pay the 



586 ME. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

penalty of distinction. And if the wooings of kings 
and queens must be told, why not the courtship and 
marriage of General and Mrs. Tom Thumb ? The story 
is an interesting one, and shall be told alike to exonerate 
me from the suspicion named, and to amwoe those and 
they count by scores of thousands who are interested 
in the welfare of the distinguished couple. 

In the autumn of 1862, when Lavinia Warren was 
on exhibition at the Museum, Tom Thumb had no busi 
ness engagement with me ; in fact, he was not on exhibi 
tion at the time at all ; he was taking a " vacation " at 
his house in Bridgeport. Whenever he came to New 
York he naturally called upon me, his old friend, at the 
Museum. He happened to be in the city at the time 
referred to, and one day he called, quite unexpectedly 
to me, while Lavinia was holding one of her levees. 
Here he now saw her for the first time, and very natur 
ally made her acquaintance. He had a short interview 
with her, after which he came directly to my private 
office and desired to see me alone. Of course I com 
plied with his request, hut without the remotest suspi 
cion as to his object. I closed the door, and the General 
took a seat. His first question let in the light. He 
inquired about the family of Lavinia Warren. I gave 
him the facts, which I clearly perceived gave him satis 
faction of a peculiar sort. lie then said, with great 
frankness, and with no less earnestness : 

" Mr. Barnum, that is the most charming little lady 
I ever saw, and I believe she was created on purpose to 
be my wife ! Now," he continued, u you have always 
been a friend of mine, and I want you to say a good 
word for me to her. I have got plenty of money, and I 
want to marry and settle down in life, and I really feel 
as if I must marry that young lady." 



ME. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 587 

The little General was highly excited, and his general 
manner betrayed the usual anxiety, which, I doubt not, 
most of my readers will understand without a descrip 
tion. I could not repress a smile, nor forget my joke ; 
and I said : 
* " Lavinia is engaged already." 

" To whom Commodore Nutt I " asked Tom Thumb, 
with much earnestness, and some exhibition of the 
" green-eyed monster." 

"No, General, to me," I replied. 

" Never mind," said the General, laughing, " you can 
exhibit her for a while, and then give up the engage 
ment ; but I do hope, you will favor my suit with 
her." 

I told the General that this was too sudden an affair ; 
that he must take time to think of it ; but he insisted 
that years of thought would make no difference, for his 
mind was fully made up. 

" Well, General," I replied, " I will not oppose you 
in your suit, but you must do your own courting. I tell 
you., however, the Commodore will be jealous of you, 
and more than that, Miss Warren is nobody s fool, and 
you will have to proceed very cautiously if you can suc 
ceed in winning her affections." 

The General thanked me, and promised to be very 
discreet. A change now came suddenly over him in 
several particulars. He had been (much to his credit) 
very fond of his country home in Bridgeport, where he 
spent his intervals of rest with his horses, and especially 
with his yacht, for his fondness for the water was his 
great passion. But now he was constantly having occa 
sion to visit the city, and horses and yachts were 
strangely neglected. He had a married sister in New 



588 ME. AND ME3. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

York, and his visits to her multiplied, for, of course, he 
came to New York " to see his sister ! " His mother, 
who resided in Bridgeport, remarked that Charles had 
never before shown so much brotherly affection, nor so 
much fondness for city life. 

His visits to the Museum were very frequent, and it 
was noticeable that new relations were being established 
between him and Commodore Nutt. The Commodore 
was not exactly jealous, yet he strutted around like a 
bantam rooster whenever the General approached Lavi- 
nia. One day he and the General got into a friendly 
scuffle in the dressing-room, and the Commodore threw 
the General upon his back in " double quick " time. 
The Commodore is lithe, wiry, and quick in his move 
ments, but the General is naturally slow, and although 
he was considerably heavier than the Commodore, he 
soon found that he could not stand before him in a per 
sonal encounter. Moreover, the Commodore is natur 
ally quick-tempered, and when excited, he brags about 
his knowledge of " the manly art of self-defence," and 
sometimes talks about pistols and bowie knives, etc. 
Tom Thumb, on the contrary, is by natural disposition 
decidedly a man of peace ; hence, in this, agreeing with 
Falstaif as to what constituted the " better part of valor," 
he was strongly inclined to keep his distance, if the 
little Commodore showed any belligerent symptoms. 
> In the course of several weeks the General found 
numerous opportunities to talk with Lavinia, while 
the Commodore was performing on the stage, or was 
otherwise engaged ; and, to a watchful discerner, it was 
evident he was making encouraging progress in the 
affair of the heart. He also managed to meet Lavinia 
on Sunday afternoons and evenings, without the knowl- 



MR. AND MKS. GENEEAL TOM THUMB. 589 

edge of the Commodore ; but he assured me he had not 
yet dared to suggest matrimony. 

He finally returned to Bridgeport, and privately 
begged that on the following Saturday I would take 
Lavinia up to my house, and also invite him. 

His immediate object in this was, that his mother 
might get acquainted with Lavinia, for he feared oppo 
sition from that source whenever the idea of his mar 
riage should be suggested. I could do no less than 
accede to his proposal, and on the following Friday, while 
Lavinia and the Commodore were sitting in the green 
room, I said : 

" Lavinia, you may go up to Bridgeport with me 
to-morrow morning, and remain until Monday." 

" Thank you," she replied ; " it will be quite a relief 
to get into the country for a couple of days." 

The Commodore immediately pricked up his ears, and 
said: 

" Mr. Barnum, I should like to go to Bridgeport 
to-morrow." 

"What for?" I asked. 

" I want to see my little ponies ; I have not seen them 
for several months," he replied. 

I whispered in his ear, " you little rogue, that is the 
pony you want to see," pointing to Lavinia. 

He insisted I was mistaken. When I remarked that 
lie could not well be spared from the Museum, he said : 

" Oh ! I can perform at half past seven o clock, and 
then jump on to the eight o clock evening train, and 
go up by m^elf, reaching Bridgeport before eleven, 
and return early Monday morning." 

I feared there would be a clashing of interests 
between the rival pigmies ; but wishing to please him, 



590 MR. AND. MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

I consented to his request, especially as Lavinia also 
favored it. I wished I could then fathom that little 
woman s heart, and see whether she (who must have 
discovered the secret of the General s frequent visits 
to the Museum) desired the Commodore s visit in order 
to stir up the General s ardor, or whether, as seemed 
to me the more likely , she was seeking in this way to 
prevent a denouement which she was net inclined to 
favor. Certain it is, that though I was the General s 
confidant, and knew all his desires upon the subject, 
no person had discovered the slightest evidence that 
Lavinia Warren had ever entertained the remotest sus 
picion of his thoughts regarding marriage. If she had 
made the discovery, as I assume, she kept the secret 
well. In fact, I assured Tom Thumb that every indica 
tion, so far as any of us could observe, was to the eifect 
that his suit would be rejected. The little General 
was fidgety, but determined ; hence he was anxious to 
have Lavinia meet his mother, and also see his posses 
sions in Bridgeport, for he owned considerable land and 
numerous houses there. 

The General met us at the depot in Bridgeport, on 
Saturday morning, and drove us to my house in his 
own carriage his coachman being tidily dressed, with 
a broad velvet ribbon and silver buckle placed upon his 
hat expressly for the occasion. Lavinia was duly 
informed that this was the General s "turn out"; and 
after resting half an hour at Lindencroft, he took her 
out to ride. He stopped a few moments at his mother s 
house, where she saw the apartments wh^h his father 
had built expressly for him, and filled with the most 
gorgeous furniture all corresponding to his own 
diminutive size. Then he took her to East Bridgeport, 



MR. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 591 

and undoubtedly took occasion to point out in great 
detail all of the houses which he owned, for he de 
pended much upon having his wealth make some im 
pression upon her. They returned, and the General 
stayed to lunch. I asked Lavinia how she liked her 
ride ; she replied : 

" It was very pleasant, but," she added, " it seems as 
if you and Tom Thumb owned about all of Bridgeport ! " 

The General took his leave and returned at five 
o clock to dinner, with his mother. Mrs. Stratton 
remained until seven o clock. She expressed herself 
charmed with Lavinia Warren ; but not a suspicion 
passed her mind that little Charlie was endeavoring to 
give her this accomplished young lady as a daughter-in- 
law. The General had privately asked me to invite 
him to stay over night, for, said he, " If I get a chance, 
I intend to pop the question before the Commodoro 
arrives." So I told his mother I thought the General 
had better stop with us over night, as the Commodore 
would be up in the late train, adding that it would be 
more pleasant for the little folks to be together. She 
assented, and the General was happy. 

After tea Lavinia and the General sat down to play 
backgammon. As nine o clock approached, I remarked 
that it was about time to retire, but somebody would 
have to sit up until nearly eleven o clock, in order to let 
in the Commodore. The General replied : 

" I will sit up with pleasure, if Miss Warren will 
remain also." 

Lavinia carelessly replied, that she was accustomed 
to late hours, and she would wait and see the Commo 
dore. A little supper was placed upon the table fK 
the Commodore, and the family retired. 
27* 



592 ME. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

Now it happened that a couple of mischievous young 
ladies were visiting at my house, one of whom was to 
sleep with Lavinia. They were suspicious that the 
General was going to propose to Lavinia that evening, 
and, in a spirit of ungovernable curiosity, they deter 
mined, notwithstanding its manifest impropriety, to wit 
ness the operation, if they could possibly manage to do 
so on the sly. Of course this was inexcusable, the 
more so as so few of my readers, had they been placed 
under the same temptation, would have been guilty of 
such an impropriety ! Perhaps I should hesitate to use 
the testimony of such witnesses, or even to trust it. 
But a few weeks after, they told the little couple the 
whole story, were forgiven, and all had a hearty laugh 
over it. 

It so happened that the door of the sitting room, in 
which the General and Lavinia were left at the back 
gammon board, opened into the hall just at the side of 
the stairs, and these young misses, turning out the 
lights in the hall, seated themselves upon the stairs in 
the dark, where they had a full view of the cosy little 
couple, and were within easy ear-shot of all that was 
said. . 

The house was still. The General soon acknowl 
edged himself vanquished at backgammon, and gave it 
up. After sitting a few moments, he evidently thought 
it was best to put a clincher on the financial part of his 
abilities ; so he drew from his pocket a policy of insu 
rance, and handing it to Lavinia, he asked her if she 
knew what it was. 

Examining it, she replied, "It is an insurance policy. 
I see you keep your property insured." 

44 But the beauty of it is, it is not my property," re- 



ME. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 593 

plied the General, " and yet I get the benefit of the 
insurance in case of fire. You will see," he continued, 
unfolding the policy, " this is the property of Mr. Wil 
liams, but here, you will observe, it reads loss, if any, 
payable to Charles S. Stratton, as his interest may ap 
pear. The fact is, 1 loaned Mr. Williams three thou 
sand dollars, took a mortgage on his house, and made 
him insure it for my benefit. In this way, you per 
ceive, I get my interest, and he has to pay the taxes." 

" That is a very wise way, I should think," remarked 
Lavinia. 

" That is the way I do all my business," replied the 
General, complacently, as he returned the huge insur 
ance policy to his pocket " You see," he continued, 
" I never lend any of my money without taking bond 
and mortgage security 9 then I have no trouble with 
taxes ; my principal is secure, and I receive my interest 
regularly." 

The explanation seemed satisfactory to Lavinia, and 
the General s courage began to rise. Drawing his chair 
a little nearer to hers, he said : 

" So you are going to Europe, soon! " 

" Yes," replied Lavinia, " Mr. Barnum intends to take 
me over in a couple of months." 

" You will find it very pleasant," remarked the Gen 
eral ; " I have been there twice, in fact I have spent six 
years abroad, and I like the old countries very much." 

" I hope I shall like the trip, and I expect I shall," 
responded Lavinia ; " for Mr. Barnum says I shall visit 
all the principal cities, and he has no doubt I will be 
invited to appear before the Queen of England, the Em 
peror and Empress of France, the King of Prussia, the 
Emperor of Austria, and at the courts of any other 



594 ME. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

countries which we may visit. Oh ! I shall like that, it 
will be so new to me." 

" Yes, it will be very interesting indeed. I have 
visited most of the crowned heads," remarked the Gen 
eral, with an evident feeling of self-congratulation. " But 
are you not afraid you will be lonesome in a strange 
country?" asked the General. 

" No, I think there is no danger of that, for friends 
will accompany me," was the reply. 

t; I wish I was going over, for I know all about the 
different countries, and could explain them all to you," 
remarked Tom Thumb. 

" That would be very nice," said Lavinia. 

" Do you think so ] " said the General, moving his 
chair still closer to Lavinia s. 

" Of course," replied Lavinia, coolly, " for I, being a 
stranger to all the habits and customs of the people, as 
well as to the country, it would be pleasant to have 
some person along who could answer all my foolish 
questions." 

"I should like it first rate, if Mr. Barnum would en 
gage me," said the General. 

" I thought you remarked the other day that you had 
money enough, and was tired of travelling," said La 
vinia, with a slightly mischievous look from one corner 
of her eye. 

" That depends upon my company while travelling," 
replied the General. 

" You might not find my company very agreeable." 

" I would be glad to risk it." 

" Well, perhaps Mr. Barnum would engage you, if 
you asked him," said Lavinia. 

" Would you really like to have me go 1 " asked the 



MR. AND MES. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 595 

General, quietly insinuating his arm around her waist, 
but hardly close enough to touch her. 

" Of course I would," was the reply. 

The little General s arm clasped the waist closer as 
he turned his face nearer to hers, and said : 

" Do n t you think it would be pleasanter if we went 
as man and wife ] " 

The little fairy quickly disengaged his arm, and 
remarked that the General was a funny fellow to joke 
in that way. **;:,] 

" I am not joking at all," said the General, earnestly, 
" it is quite too serious a matter for that." 

44 1 wonder why the Commodore don t come ? " said 
Lavinia. 

" I hope you are not anxious for his arrival, for I am 
sure I am not," responded the General, " and what is 
more, I do hope you will say 4 yes, before he comes at 
all ! " 

44 Really, Mr. Stratton," said Lavinia, with dignity, 
44 if you are in earnest in your strange proposal, I must 
say I am surprised." 

44 Well, I hope you are not offended" replied the 
General, 44 for I was never more in earnest in my life, 
and I hope you will consent. The first moment I saw 
you I felt that you were created to be my wife." 

" But this is so sudden." 

44 Not so very sudden ; it is several months since we 
first met, and you know all about me, and my family, 
and I hope you find nothing to object to in me." 

44 Not at all ; on the contrary, I have found you very 
agreeable, in fact I like you very much as a friend, but 
T have not thought of marrying, and " 

" And what] my dear," said the General, giving her 



596 MR. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

a kiss. " Now, I beg of you, don t have any huts 01 
ands about it. You say you like me as a friend, 
why will you not like me as a husband] You ought 
to get married ; I love you dearly, and I want you 
for a wife. Now, deary, the Commodore will be 
here in a few minutes, I may not have a chance 
to see you again alone ; do say that we will bo 
married, and I will get Mr. Barnum to give up your 
engagement." 

Lavinia hesitated, and finally said : 

" I think I love you well enough to consent, but I 
have always said I would never marry without my 
mother s consent." 

" Oh ! Ill ask your mother. May I ask your mother I 
Come, say yes to that, and I will go and see her next 
week. May I do that, pet I " 

Then there was a sound of something very much like 
the popping of several corks from as many beer bottles. 
The young eaves-droppers had no doubt as to the char 
acter of these reports, nor did they doubt that they 
sealed the betrothal, for immediately after they heard 
Lavinia say : 

" Yes, Charles, you may ask my mother." Another 
volley of reports followed, and then Lavinia said, 
"Now, Charles, don t whisper this to a living soul ; let 
us keep our own secrets for the present." 

" All right," said the General, fc I will say nothing ; 
but next Tuesday I shall start to see your mother." 

" Perhaps you may find it difficult to obtain her con 
sent," said Lavinia. 

At that moment a carriage drove up to the door, and 
immediately the bell was rung, and the little Commo 
dore entered. 



ME. AND MES. GENEEAL TOM THUMB. 597 

" You here, General?" said the Commodore, as he 
espied his rival. 

" Yes," saidLavinia, " Mr. Barnum asked him to stay, 
and we were waiting for you ; come, warm yourself." 

" I am not cold," said the Commodore ; " where is Mr. 
Barnum?" 

" He has gone to bed," remarked the General, " but a 
nice supper has been prepared for you." 

" I am not hungry, I thank you ; I am going to bed. 
Which room does Mr. Barnum sleep in? " said the little 
bantam, in a petulant tone of voice. 

His question was answered ; the young eaves-drop 
pers scampered to their sleeping apartments, and the 
Commodore soon came to my room, where he found me 
indulging in the foolish habit of reading in bed. 

"Mr. Barnum, does Tom Thumb board here?" asked 
the Commodore, sarcastically. 

" No," said I, " Tom Thumb does not board here. I 
invited him to stop over night, so don t be foolish, but 
go to bed." 

" Oh, it s no affair of mine. I don t care anything 
about it ; but I thought he had taken up his board 
here," replied the Commodore, and off he went to bed, 
evidently in a bad humor. 

Ten minutes afterwards Tom Thumb came rushing 
into my room, and closing the door, he caught hold of 
my hand in a high state of excitement and whispered : 

" We are engaged, Mr. Barnum ! we are engaged ! 
we are engaged ! " and he jumped up and down in the 
greatest glee. 

" Is that possible 1 " I asked. 

" Yes, sir, indeed it is ; but you must not mention it," 
he responded ; "we agreed to tell nobody, so please 



598 MR AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 

don t say a word. I must tell you, of course, but 6 mv*n 
is the word/ I am going, Tuesday, to get her mother s 
consent." 

I promised secrecy, and the General retired in as 
happy a mood as I ever saw him. Lavinia also retired, 
but not a hint did she give to the young lady with whom 
she slept regarding the engagement. Indeed, our family 
plied her upon the subject the next day, but not a breath 
passed her lips that would give the slightest indication 
of what had transpired. She was quite sociable with 
the Commodore, and as the General concluded to go 
home the next morning, the Commodore s equanimity 
and good feelings were fully restored. The General 
made a call of half an hour Sunday evening, and man 
aged to have an interview with Lavinia. The next 
morning she and the Commodore returned to New York 
in good spirits, 1 remaining in Bridgeport. 

The General called on me Monday, however, bring 
ing a very nice letter which he had written to Lavinia s 
mother. He had concluded to send this letter by his 
trusty friend, Mr. George A. "Wells, instead of going 
himself, and he had just seen Mr. Wells, who had con 
sented to go to Middleborough with the letter the fol 
lowing day, and to urge the General s suit, if it should 
be necessary. 

The General went to New York on Wednesday, and 
was there to await Mr. Wells arrival. On Wednesday 
morning the General and Lavinia walked into my office, 
and after closing the door, the little General said : 

" Mr. Barnum, I want somebody to tell the Commo 
dore that Lavinia and I are engaged, for I am afraid 
there will be a row when he hears of it." 

" Do it yourself, General," I replied. 



MB. AND MRS. GENERAL TOM THUMB. 599 

44 Oh," said the General, almost shuddering, " I would 
not dare to do it, he might knock me down." 

" I will do it," said Lavinia ; and it was at once 
arranged that I should call the Commodore and Lavinia 
into my office, and either she or myself would tell him. 
The General, of course, " vamosed." 

When the Commodore joined us and the door was 
closed, I said : 

" Commodore, do you know what this little witch has 
been doing 1 " 

" No, I do n t," he answered. 

" Well, she has been cutting up one of the greatest 
pranks you ever heard of," I replied. " She almost 
deserves to be shut up, for daring to do it. Can t you 
guess what she has done 1 " 

He mused a moment, and then looking at me, said in 
a low voice, and with a serious looking face, " En 
gaged 1" 

" Yes," said I, " absolutely engaged to be married to 
General Tom Thumb. Did you ever hear of such a 
thing!" 

" Is that so, Lavinia ? " asked the Commodore, look 
ing her earnestly in the face. 

"That is so," said Lavinia; " and Mr. Wells has 
gone to obtain my mother s consent." 

The Commodore turned pale, and choked a little, 
as if